How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles (Recycling Cans)

Ogbo Godfrey

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How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles (Recycling Cans)

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Do you know that recycling bottles and cans can be an excellent way to get additional money? Yes, you read that correctly; I promise!  This practice is lucrative in addition to contributing to a sustainable environment and lowering trash production.

You can transform your regular garbage into a reliable source of cash with just a little effort.  Here, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to make money collecting free cans and bottles. So, let’s start your journey to financial freedom through recycling.

How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles (Recycling Cans)

Where to Collect Cans and Bottles

1. Residential Areas

One of the most convenient places to collect free cans and bottles is in residential neighborhoods. People in your area may be willing to donate their empty beverage containers if you go door to door to ask. Also, tell them how your actions will help the planet.

It is common practice for residents of residential areas to separate their trash and deposit recyclables in designated recycling bins. You are free to go through these containers and take whatever recyclables you find. 

Collecting should be timed with the scheduled garbage pickup. On pickup days, residents are more likely to set out their recyclables, increasing your chance to collect cans and bottles. 

Always get permission to collect trash before rummaging through people’s trash cans or yards. Also, make sure you abide by any recycling or garbage disposal rules in your area.

A great tip is to make a standing offer to pick up trash from the same homes regularly. Having them set aside their recyclables gives you more edge in making money from collecting free cans and bottles.

2. Public Places

Cans and bottles can also be collected from public locations such as parks, beaches, and streets. After parties or barbecues, guests often forget to take their empty containers home.

Bring a sort bag or container to store your cans and bottles in. Use a bag or container that you can reuse to cut down on trash. People tend to throw away recyclables in regular garbage cans. It’s okay to look in here and grab any bottles and cans you like. 

Keep in mind that public areas and private property are not your own. Always make sure you’re in a public place when collecting recyclables, and never on someone else’s property.

Collecting recyclables in public may be easier if you have friends or volunteers to assist you. 

Because of this, the procedure can be less tedious and more enjoyable, and garbage in public areas can be reduced.

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3. Offices and Businesses

Cans and bottles can also be collected for recycling at places of business and employment. Always get permission from the boss or manager before going through the trash. Some companies may have their recycling programs and refuse to accept collections from outside companies.

Most times, you can see recycle bins may be seen in many common workplace settings. You can take the cans and bottles that are collected in these containers for recycling.

When collecting the recyclables, make sure the time coincides with business hours. Visiting companies on their designated garbage and recycling collection days may boost your chance of taking more recyclables.

You can make more money by offering to collect recyclables from local companies regularly. This will encourage them to set aside their recyclables for you, allowing you to have a steady supply.

Always act in a businesslike and courteous manner while collecting from places of business and offices. Dress appropriately, and have your contact information handy in case anyone has questions.

Preparation for Collection

If you plan, collecting and recycling cans and bottles will go more smoothly for you. To get you ready for collection, here are some pointers you can follow:

1. Bring gloves

You need to protect your hands from germs while collecting cans and bottles. One way to protect your hands from contamination is by wearing gloves.

Also, wearing gloves protects your hands from sharp edges that you might come in contact with while rummaging through bins.

2. Use bags or containers

One of the first steps in getting ready to recycle is collecting cans and bottles in a container. Pick a container that can take the strain of holding all those heavy bottles and cans. A container or bag made of durable material that may be reused is ideal.

 Think about how much recycling you’ll be doing and select a reusable bag accordingly. You don’t want a container that’s too little and constantly has to be emptied, nor do you want one that’s too big and stressful to move around.

Keep the container clear of any debris or potential contaminants. You can quickly wash any leftover smell with a quick rinse in water and a drop or two of mild detergent.

To facilitate recycling, sort your cans and bottles by material (e.g., aluminum cans, plastic bottles). This will ensure that the materials are recycled properly.

3. Plan your route

It is important to locate potential drop-off points for recyclables, such as homes, public locations, and commercial establishments.

Plan your route and include places where you can gather the most recyclables. Depending on the time of day and the day of the week, there may be fewer or more recyclables available.

You can also plan out your route with the help of a map or a GPS device. This would help you save money on gas and time on the collection procedure. If you anticipate delays due to traffic or road closures, plan to make adjustments to your route.

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It’s smart to plot out your route so that you don’t have to pass through any places where you can encounter danger, such as near a construction zone or an industrial complex. 

Read also: 7 Simple Household That Can be Recycled

How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles (Recycling Cans)

4. Sort out your collection

Separate the cans, bottles, and jars by material, such as aluminum, plastic, glass, etc. The recycling center will be able to process the materials faster and more efficiently if they are sorted out accordingly.

Before recycling, make sure that all cans and bottles have their lids removed. To avoid potential contamination, always remove caps and lids before using a container for the first time.

It is advisable to also wash the storage containers to get rid of any leftover food or residue. If we can keep recyclables clean, we can recycle them more effectively.

To economize on space and facilitate simpler transport, you can flatten the containers. Sort your cans from any non-recyclables such as plastic bags, straws, or food packaging. These materials are not recyclable and might contaminate a recycling batch if placed with them.

Where to Sell Collected Cans and Bottles

Once you have collected and sorted your recyclables, you will need to find a place to sell them. Some of the most frequent places to sell and make from collecting free cans and containers are:

1. Recycling centers

There are centers dedicated to recycling collecting and processing recyclables such as cans and bottles. The cans and containers you bring are often paid for according to how much they weigh and the kind of material used. 

It is advisable to find out in advance what materials you can bring to the recycling center and whether there are any prerequisites for doing so. Some facilities may have restrictions on the sorts of recyclables they accept or the procedures that must be followed before they would accept them.

The money make collecting free cans and bottles based on the market will be based on the value of the materials you sold, as well as their weight and kind.

2. Scrap yards

You can also take your can and bottle collection to a scrap yard. Some of the materials processed and purchased by them are aluminum cans and metal bottle caps. As a result of the volume of business they carry out, they provide more competitive pricing than community recycling facilities. 

But there’s a catch: they can want a specific volume of product before they’ll sell it. It’s a good idea to look around at other scrap yards to see what they’ll pay for your metals and other stuff before you decide where to sell them. 

How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles (Recycling Cans)

3. Redemption centers

Redemption centers are stores that purchase back empty beverage containers and give their customers their deposits back. Customers in places that require deposits can return empty containers to a redemption facility and receive their money back. 

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There may be certain sorting or preparation requirements at redemption centers, and they will only take containers that are covered by the state bottle deposit law.

4. Online marketplaces

Another way to make money by collecting cans and bottles is by selling recycled cans on online marketplaces. You can sell your recyclables on these marketplaces to customers that need them for a variety of applications. These include arts and crafts, DIY projects, and industrial raw materials. 

There are several online marketplaces where you can sell your recyclables. Nevertheless, you need to do your due diligence in selecting a trustworthy and reliable one. Some of the popular ones are eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace

Once you’ve settled on a platform, you can post your cans and bottles there. Don’t forget to specify the materials you’re selling, how many of each, and any important information. The extra information you can include can be on t condition and whether or not they’ve been cleaned.

Based on supply and demand, you should establish a reasonable price for your recyclable cans and bottles. Other postings on the site will give you an indication of what the prices of other similar products are going for. However, while selling your items, be wary of scammers and only arrange to meet in public.

Conclusion: How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles

Making money by collecting free cans and bottles can be a successful side business that helps keep our planet healthy and clean. 

What most people would throw out may be transformed into something of value with a little bit of time and work spent gathering and sorting. 

You can make additional money and help promote sustainability at the same time by recycling and reusing materials. So, the next time you pass by a trash can or bottle, keep in mind that it might be your ticket to financial freedom!

Ogbo Godfrey
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1 thought on “How To Make Money Collecting Free Cans And Bottles (Recycling Cans)”

  1. Thank you for pointing out that there are recycling centers dedicated to collecting things such as cans and bottles. My son is wanting to earn some money so that he can purchase a handheld gaming device. It seems like it would be a good idea for my son to start collecting aluminum cans so that he can take them to a recycling center and earn some money.


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