How To Make Money Collecting Cans and Bottles

Making money collecting cans and bottles is an opportunity that knocks at every school, community group, organization, or household including your own. Sometimes there is money to be had from someone else’s refuse. Like vintage clothing aka second-hand clothes, used cans and bottles still serve their purpose beyond what people like to call “discards.”

Here’s how you can make money collecting cans and bottles:

  1. Recycling. Do you know that the can manufacturing industry pays $800 million annually to recyclers for their collection of beverage cans? That’s a lot of mind-boggling zeroes for something that for many has lost its value as soon as its contents are used up. When it comes to bottle recycling, though the annual figures are yet to be disclosed, Bottle manufacturers pay from 5 to 10 cents per container so if you have 5 to 6 trash bags full of clean end empty bottles for recycling you can expect to take home between $25 – $35 dollars on each visit. Contact the local recycling center that’s nearest to you for more information. Ditto, rally family, friends, and colleagues to collect empty bottles and cans for your recycling project and they’d be pretty happy to acquiesce.
  2. Collecting cans and bottles from parties and gatherings. If you have been to a number of parties recently and noticed how many bottles and cans of beverages are consumed then discarded, why this is your chance to make money off it! Coordinate with the party organizer or hostess and schedule a date and time for pick up. Bring as many boxes and trash bags as you can when collecting these. It wouldn’t hurt if the contents have been thrown out and the vessels cleaned prior to collection.
  3. Collecting cans and bottles from public areas. Picnic groves, amusement parks, open parking areas, sports arenas, and stadiums are some of the places where you can find discarded cans and bottles. Not saying that you should take the place of the clean-up guy or janitor, think of this as helping clean up the mess, being a good citizen, and making some money as you do it. You can be discreet by carrying a duffel bag or a backpack.
  4. Returning bottles and beverage containers in exchange for a deposit. Find out if your local stores and groceries require a deposit for every purchase of soda, wine cooler, wine, beer, juice, and sports drink. This may not translate to much money but think of it as earning some of your money back.
  5. Selling antiques for one-of-kind bottle and can designs. This is the kind that fetches a good price in the market. If you have bottles and cans collected through the years, you may want to rethink their function as decorative pieces in your home. Antique vessels appreciate in value during time and even the ubiquitous perfume, cologne, and whiskey bottle fetches a really handsome price after some time. To make sure you get a good price for it, consult an appraiser for its historical value, origins, rarity, and use.

Lastly, support the Bottle Bill or Container Deposit Law in your city or state to show that you are not only in this for the money, rather, you share the collective desire of many who want a sustainable method for recycling used bottles and cans.


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