We all know that it is important to recycle for the well-being of our planet. But did you know that you could make money out of it? Your empty cosmetics bottles, designer shoe boxes, and old mobile phones could be worth a fortune, and you could even cash in on empty cans and toilet roll tubes.
When it comes to recycling, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure, so before you fill up your recycling bins this weekend, check out our guide below.
Turning Recyclable Trash Into Serious Cash
Recyclable items are in demand, and there are many ways to dispose of unwanted goods. You could sell your recyclables on eBay or take them to your nearest high-street retailer. H&M and Marks and Spencers will give you vouchers to spend in-store, while Boots will give you up to five hundred free Advantage Card points. So check your recycling bins today. The following items could be worth more than you think.
Recycling Aluminium Cans For Cash
If your recycling bins are overflowing with aluminium beer cans and pop cans, why not keep them, crush them, and turn them into cash at one of over 500 Cash for Cans centres in the UK. You’ll get between 40p and 60p per kilo of cans (a kilo is around sixty-five cans). So it’s hardly a get-rich-quick-scheme, but you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, and you’ll soon have enough for your next six-pack.
Only aluminium cans are recyclable. So look out for the ‘Alu’ sign and if in doubt, grab a magnet. If it sticks, it’s not aluminium. If it doesn’t, you’re good to go!
Recycling Cardboard Toilet Roll Tubes For Cash
According to Statista, the average Britton uses 127 rolls of toilet paper per year. That’s a lot of empty toilet roll tubes! They may be recyclable waste to you and me, but to teachers, they are an essential piece of equipment for classroom projects, and as such, they are worth a pretty penny.
Online crafting store Beebeecraft sells 20 cardboard toilet roll tubes for over £16, so it’s no surprise that crafters are turning to eBay. On this leading marketplace, you could sell fifty cardboard toilet roll tubes for as much as £5! However, one seller offering “250 Clean Toilet Loo Roll Tubes” for £30, the sky’s the limit!
Recycling Old Mobile Phones & Tech For Cash
If you have recently upgraded to the latest iPhone, why not turn your old one into cash? Music Magpie will give you a free instant quote for your smartphone, tablet, kindle, games console, GoPro, iPod, and wearable tech, even if it is broke.
They currently offer £750 for an iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB in good working order. Meanwhile, they’ll even give you £225 for it if it’s faulty. You could get as much as £65 for that old Xbox One lying in your garage and £20 for the Kindle Fire HDX that you never use. Music Magpie also buys old CDs, DVDs, Games, Books, and LEGO. So there’s no need to put these items in your recycling bin.
Recycling Empty Perfume Bottles For Cash
As most local authorities in the UK will not accept perfume bottles for recycling, they often go straight to landfill. However, there are ways to turn these pretty bottles into cash. The Perfume Shop will give you a 10% discount voucher for returning your empty perfume bottles to the store as part of their recycling scheme, but you could make even more by selling them online.
On eBay, empty designer perfume bottles sell for between £5 and £10 each. Although if you are lucky enough to have an antique perfume bottle lying around, you could make much more. One seller on Etsy is selling an Antique Jean Toutin Gold & Enamel Perfume Bottle for £7,115.54. Not bad for an empty bottle!
Recycle Old Clothes & Linens For Cash
You could recycle your old clothes and linens by taking them to your local charity shop, or you could take advantage of one of the many recycling schemes available. Fashion brand H&M will take all your unwanted textiles off your hands in their garment collection box, and they’ll even give you a £5 voucher (redeemable against a purchase of £25 or more) as a thank you.
Marks & Sparks will also give you a £5 off a £35 spend, and Schuh offers a £5 voucher for every pair of shoes donated under their ‘Sell Your Soles’ scheme. If all else fails, get in touch with Cash For Clothes. This leading organisation in the textile recycling industry will pay you 50p per kilo for your unwanted clothes and shoes. All items must be clean, dry, and wearable.
Recycling Wine Corks For Cash
While recycling glass bottles is easy, recycling wine corks is not. However, there are alternatives. If you are partial to a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and you love a good Shiraz. You could make a whole lot of dosh by selling your old wine corks online. One ‘trusted seller’ on eBay sells twenty used wine corks for £5, 2000 used wine corks for £195, and they already have 299 sales.
If you want to do your bit for charity, you can donate your unwanted wine corks to Recorked, the UK’s leading cork recycling program. Just send them your old bottle stoppers, and they’ll resell them. While donating a percentage of the profits to a list of nominated charities.
You’ll find empty wine bottles for sale on eBay and Amazon, so there’s a market for them too. With home brewers paying anything up to £29.99 for a box of twenty-four green wine bottles, there’s no reason to put these in your recycling bin.
Recycle Plastic Bottles For Cash
Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues we face today. Yet, according to the UN Environment Organisation (UNEP.org), we still purchase over a million plastic bottles every minute.
If you find your recycling bins overflowing with plastic bottles. You are able to take advantage of one of the many supermarket recycling initiatives available. Sainsbury's will give you a 5p coupon for every bottle you insert in their reverse vending machines. Iceland and Tesco offer a 10p coupon for every bottle to spend in-store. Over in Morrisons, you will get one hundred Morrisons More Points for every plastic bottle you return to the store (maximum twenty per day).
Recycle Ink Cartridges For Cash
You can refill ink cartridges, and they are relatively easy to recycle. But why give them away for free when you could make a little extra cash.
Ink cartridges are expensive, and as such, hundreds of companies will pay you for your old ones. The aptly named Cartridge Recycling UK will give you a free quote online, and if you are happy with their offer, they’ll pick it up as early as the next working day. While some single colour cartridges only fetch 10p. Others can be worth £3 to £4, and XL black ink cartridges can net you as much as £20.
Recycle Cosmetics Containers For Cash
Beauty product bottles and cosmetics containers are notoriously hard to recycle. Until now, most of them have gone to landfill. However, some UK manufacturers and retailers will reward you for returning your empties.
Luxury makeup brand MAC will give you a free lipstick worth £17.50 for every six MAC packaging containers you return to store under its Back to Mac programme. The Body Shop offers a £5 reward when you return five empty bottles, tubes, pots, or tubs as part of its Return, Recycle, Repeat scheme in conjunction with TerraCycle.
If you are a John Lewis Rewards Member, you can earn cash on your unwanted cosmetics containers under its BeautyCycle scheme. For every five empty beauty products you return to your nearest John Lewis & Partners store, you’ll get £5 off your next beauty purchase.
Recycle Luxury Packaging For Cash
You can sell almost anything on eBay, and empty packaging is no exception. Branded shoe boxes, watch boxes, and jewellery boxes can sell for hundreds of pounds if they bear the emblem of one of the world’s leading brands. Rolex watch boxes are listed for as much as £825, and Chanel shoe boxes for £80.
One seller is currently offering a ring box, ribbon, and carrier bag by Tiffany & Co for £175, while another touts a 'Famous Tiffany Blue Box and Bag' for £150. So if you were thinking about throwing your old packaging away, list it on eBay. You may earn enough for a new pair of Jimmy Choo’s!
Recycle Empty Candle Jars For Cash
Sweet-scented candles make lovely gifts, and they can transform any room, but disposing of the empty jars can be difficult. Glass candle jars are not suitable for recycling and cannot go in your recycling bin. However, there is no need to throw them away.
You can sell empty Jo Malone Candle Jars on eBay for as much as £15. Sell three or four of those, and you’ll have enough to buy yourself a new one!
There’s a whole lot of cash in trash, so take a look through your recycling bins today. You may find enough to cover your next big purchase! If you need a new bin to help your recycling efforts, check out our home range here!