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Can you turn recycling into a side hustle?

Can you turn recycling into a side hustle

With the cost of living crisis still continuing to bite, more people are looking for an extra income. According to stats from Finder, almost half of British people have a side hustle to bring in extra cash. There’s dog walking, selling clothes online, and taking on a second job-but could you turn recycling into a side hustle?

Why have a side hustle and how much could I earn?

As well as bringing in extra cash, it gives you the chance to use your skills and maybe turn a hobby into money in the bank. The Finder stats found that Brits earn on average £206 per week from side hustles. That's a cool £10,000 per year. Definitely not to be sniffed at.

Which side hustles pay off?

Are you thinking about starting a side hustle? The Finder survey found that these are the most popular ways of boosting your bank account.

  • Selling unwanted clothes and accessories on platforms like Vinted.
  • Refurbishing electronic items and selling them on.
  • Recycling- yes, you can turn recycling into a side hustle by selling everyday items!
  • Creating content, for example, blogging or creating video content for Tik Tok or YouTube.
  • Making products like homemade cakes, candles, and bath and body products and selling them.
  • Taking on a second job such as becoming an Uber driver, delivery driver, or doing data entry from home.
  • Providing services like dog walking, cleaning, and ironing

How much could I make from a side hustle?

Let’s start by looking at a couple of the most popular ways people make extra cash.

Selling clothing online

This is one of the most popular side hustles. The beauty of it is, that you get to declutter your wardrobes and make yourself some cash in the process. Vinted is one of the most popular platforms. According to This is Money.co.uk, successful sellers on the app can make £150 per month. One seller even sold a luxury brand handbag for £800!

One of the reasons Vinted is so popular is it doesn’t charge sellers any fees. Users can sell or swap their clothes for free. If you have women's tops, dresses, jeans, coats, shoes, and baby clothing to sell, you could be quids in. They are among the best sellers on the site. You can even sell your old wedding dress if you can part with it, just do it in plenty of time for wedding season.

Not only do apps like Vinted help you earn extra cash, but they also help the environment by tackling the problem of textile waste.

Repairing and refurbishing electronic items

People often throw electronic items away when they are broken. Many end up in landfill and the precious resources that went into making them go to waste. Sometimes, items can be rescued with a simple repair and this is where it could be lucrative for you.

If you aren’t well-versed at repairing electronic items, organisations like The Repair Café or Restart can help. They hold sessions where members of the public can learn how to repair electrical items that would otherwise have ended up in the bin. Just look for a venue near you.

So you’ve become a dab hand at repairing electronics, now what? Well now you can sell the refurbished items. eBay has a programme called Refurbished on eBay which allows sellers to sell refurbished items. The programme differentiates between ‘seller refurbished’ (non-professional) and ‘certified refurbished’ (professional) refurbishment processes. And be aware, to sell refurbished items on eBay, you have to meet some pretty strict criteria.

Still, if you meet the criteria, it’s worth it. We saw refurbished items going for some impressive amounts of cash including:

  • Laptops going from around £100 up to the £1,000+ mark.
  • Games consoles, from Gameboys for £64.99 to a PS4 at £279.
  • Mobile phones ranging from basic handsets for £50 to refurbished iPhones on sale for over £1000.

Selling your recyclables

If you’re wondering if you can turn recycling into a side hustle, the answer is yes. If you’re willing to persevere. Take a look on eBay and Gumtree, and you’ll find savvy people selling things you considered junk. Think wine corks, toilet roll tubes, and green milk tops!

Yes, toilet roll tubes are coveted for kids’ craft projects and gardeners who are planting seedlings.

The reason we said you’ll need perseverance is that these items are often sold in bulk. That means 30, 50, or even 100 items in one go. That means you’ll need somewhere to store them and you’ll need to be patient. The money isn’t necessarily great. However, if you’re a believer in every little helps, then it might be a way to bring in some extra £’s.

Remember that you’ll have to factor in seller’s fees and postage costs too, which can deplete your earnings.

How much can I make from selling my recyclables?

Let us start by saying that you won’t be able to retire as a result of selling your recycling. However, if you have a couple of side hustles up and running at the same time, it could add up to a nice little pot of cash. Let’s look at a couple of examples of what you could make from selling recyclables.*

*figures are from listed eBay prices.

Green milk tops

(Listed on eBay at £9.99 for 100)

  • If you’re single and go through one plastic carton of milk each week: it would take you around 23 months to collect 100 caps and make money.
  • If you’re a couple and you go through 1-2 plastic cartons of milk each week: it would take you between 11 and 23 months to collect 100 caps and cash in.
  • If you’re a family that goes through 1-2 plastic cartons of milk each week: it would take you between 11 and 23 months to make some cash.

Wine corks

(Listed on eBay at £4.82 for 25)

  • If you’re single and you drink one bottle of wine per week: it would take you almost 6 months to collect enough wine corks and make some cash.
  • If you’re a couple who drinks 1-2 bottles of wine per week: it would take you between 3 and 6 months to collect enough corks and cash in.
  • If you’re a family that gets through 2 bottles of wine per week, it would take you 3 months to earn the cash.

So no, the money won’t change your life, but our verdict is that a little bit of extra money in your pocket is never a bad thing. For more articles on all things recycling, check out the rest of our blog or take a look at specific articles including;

Or some of our best sellling recycling bins;




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