Recycle for a little cash and help the evironment

jrdwyerFebruary 3, 2010

Our family has taken on recycling in a big way. We have no curbside pickup for recyclables, but store everything in reusable plastic bins in the garage and then go to the local recycling days when we are out and about. I just give them everything including the aluminum cans for free because it helps cover the expenses of the non-profit agency that does it.

So getting on to the money savings tips, I have also been collecting household metal scraps like stripped screws, bent nails, old brake rotors, old metal toys, broken bike parts, electronic cases, etc. and putting them in durable plastic garbage bins in the garage (homemade wood crates from scrap would be cheaper still). It took a few years, but I recently collected a whopping $15 for 300 lbs (that's 5 cents/lb. or $100/ton).

Obviously it's not a lot of money, but recycling is better than throwing the stuff in the landfill. It doesn't really take a lot of extra time to recycle if you are organized and have space. Recycling is mostly about having a different mindset, call it cheap or frugal if you will.

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That's Environment!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 10:50AM
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There are people here in the recycling business that actually go house to house to buy recyclables; old newspapers, glass bottles, plastic bottles, metals, old car batteries, even broken appliances. What we do is just sort out the junk, Yesterday I sold $2.00 for a sack of plastic bottles, a busted fan and few glass bottles. Like what you said it isn't much but in our own little way help save the environment.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 7:24PM
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I think it's great that you can recycle for money. My town does not pay local people for scrsap metal. But it does provide curb-side pickup of plastics, glass, metal, newspaper and corrugated cardboard. Guess you can't have it both ways. I compost kitcgen scraps, participate in the town pickups, bring magazines to either doctors waoiting rooms or my local layundromat. So we all do what we can. I remember when I was a kid we stacked our newspapers in the garage. Dad would put them in the back seat of the car and bring them somewhere to sell. I don't know where he took them or how much he was paid.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 8:31AM
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I made my annual trip to the scrap yard recently and unloaded a bunch of old aluminum window frames, steel scrap from around the home, and a little brass (old faucet).

I am happy to report that steel has doubled since I last posted (up to $.10/lb), aluminum is around $.45/lb., and brass is a little over a $1/lb.

Unfortunately, many other commodity prices (oil, gasoline, corn, soybeans, wheat, coffee, cotton, pecans, ...) are also rising or have already gone up. I am shocked with some retail grocery prices compared to a few years ago. Store brand coffee, for example, is close to $9/large can recently, compared to $4-6 just a few years ago. Unless they get the speculators out of the commodity markets, we are in for more big price swings. I guess this means more shoppers will take advantage of loss leaders wherever they can find them, in addition to trying to time the market for certain purchases.

If you are selling/recycling, you might want to take advantage of this latest bump-up in prices before it goes down again.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Hi jrdwyer,

I see you too are in Southern Indiana, as I am. I was told that Aldi coffee, was pretty good and tried it and like it just fine. I'm no real connoisseur of coffee though and like about any, if brewed at the right strength, not too light and not too strong. The last time I bought it maybe a month or so ago, I'm thinking it was $3.99 or maybe $4.99 (big can) for their everyday price. I need to stock up on it the next time I get by an Aldi store as there isn't one in my most local town. Southern Indiana

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 7:01PM
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Thanks for the tip about coffee at Aldi. We don't usually shop there, as it is on the other side of town, but I have shopped there before. In fact, in this mornings newspaper, there is an Aldi ad and it shows a 33.9 oz. coffee can for $4.99. Our nearby food store (Shnucks) sell 36 oz. cans, and until just recently, were competitively priced with sales and/or their store brands. I guess they are trying to raise prices on stuff they thinks people won't cut back on (milk, etc.). Unfortunately, such pricing schemes will force us to cherry pick items from different stores by planning further ahead with our various trips.

BTW, we were at Sam's Club this past weekend (free open weekend) and coffee there was significantly higher than Aldi's price. We only picked up some Walnuts, which at $5/lb., beats everyone else by a mile.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Over the years, we've made a good amount of money just picking up cans whenever we see them and saving them until the bag gets to be 100lbs or until price of aluminum rises.

In one place we lived I found the woodsy spot where the teenagers drank - BINGO! Not only tons of cans, but the kids would carelessly drop thier money.

Price of aluminum is way up now - you won't get rich recycling but, yes, it helps the environment and puts a bit of cash into your pocket.

Our friend used to scavenge for cans (and whatever else was of value) at the local baseball games in the summer, and football games in the fall. Eventually, he turned it into a sideline business (going to bars for the discards, etc.)

He made a significant amount of money doing this.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 3:46PM
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I pick up pop and beer cans on the roadside ... takes about 32 pop cans to make a pound, usually "worth" (well, "saleable") for about 50 - 70 cents.

Took in vanfull a few years ago, got something over $90.00: van sold for $180.00 for scrap about four years ago.

Beer cans/bottles carry a 10 cent deposit fee, so they pay better.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 4:02PM
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I live about 8 blocks from a salvage yard so I am fortunately burning very little gas to get there and depending on what it is can bicycle my way there as well. Have been toting old soda cans found along the roadside and in the alleys, old window frames, broken motors and whatnot. However, I just found out that all those tin food cans I've been tossing in the trash (we have no recyling here) were something that they would pay for all along with any kind of old wire (cable, electrical etc) so I am collecting those too.

Ole Joyful I like story that about your old van. I have a similar story. I had an old minivan that I bought for tax, title and licensing for $600 and drove it for about 4 years and then sold it for scrap when scrap prices were at their highest for $150.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 11:01PM
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We needed new siding on our house after a hail storm. Insurance paid for it and when the crew showed up to strip our old siding we asked if we could recycle it and they said yes. We put a trailer in the yard and they even put the siding in it. We also took down an old above ground pool (which was paid in the same claim) and even though we had to strip it of the screws (a days work) the pool alone brought in almost $400.00! I sold the ladder-style steps seperately on Craigslist; many people responded just because they wanted steps to put at the end of their docks. I took a picture of the chemicals I had remaining (about six miscellaneous buckets) and sold them also on craigslist for $20. More room for me in the garage and no need to take them to the hazardous waste site! Someone else with a pool was happy to get bargain chemicals.

We get an additional .03 cents per pound for scrap aluminum by bringing in a coupon that is found on the back of local grocery store receipts. I have always recycled household paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, etc. for free. I also re-use bags and grocery cartons to help the environment. I just put the empty containers in my trunk for the next use, it is just a good habit to get in to.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 4:39PM
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Took a bunch of beer cans and bottles in to the beer store the other day ... some from a friend who uses, many from the roadside. The purchasers pay a 10 cent fee for each can or bottle on purchase, that's refunded when returned.

I received $21.30.

That'll buy some gas.

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 8:05PM
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Took several years' accumulation of pop cans to the scrap yard a couple of weeks ago, got over $60.00 ... and some beer cans and bottle, at 10 cents each, for another $20.00 or so.

That'll buy some gas.

Muffler's been getting noisy for the past few days ... guess it'll (help) repair the exhaust system (which had some repairs, not replacing, done a year or two ago).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:13PM
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