5 Ways to Get Cash for Trash


Your household probably has an undervalued asset: Your trash.

You may not see too much value in your trash can but, chances are, someone else does. Americans are turning clothing, scrap metal and other junk into cash by going online or just down to their local recycling center.

Are you looking to change refuse into revenue? Here are 6 ways you can make consumption profitable:

1. Dust off your old electronics. Don’t sit on an old Mac (Stock Quote: AAPL) or leave an ancient Sony Discman (Stock Quote: SNE) on the shelf. Companies such as Gazelle and TechForward will take old tech off your hands and give you cash back. Your old electronics will be refurbished and resold or stripped down for parts.

2. Get the lead out. Gold isn’t the only precious metal around. These days, you can turn a profit salvaging old stoves, washing machines and anything in the house that is made of metal.

Web sites such as RecycleInMe allow consumers to sell scrap online. However, those who want to take a more hands on approach can visit the USA Scrap Metal Dealers Directory or the local chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries to find a dealer in their area. 

3. Clean your closet. Thrift stores and consignment shops won’t just take old clothes off your hands, some give you up to a 50% cut of the sale (depending on how expensive an article of clothing is). Check out the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops for local stores.

4. Cut glass out of your life. Broken bottles could make you a few bucks if you know where to sell them. Companies such as RecycleBank will take a host of recyclable materials, including glass products, from curbside to the local recycling facility and give you rewards points at your local CVS Pharmacy (Stock Quote: CVS), FedEx/Kinko’s (Stock Quote: FDX), Target (Stock Quote: TGT) and Sears (Stock Quote: SHLD) to boot. Log on to the company’s web site to find out if they operate in your area.

5. Make your cell phone work for you. Just because you upgrade your cell phone doesn’t mean you have to hang onto the old one. Companies such as CellForCash will buy your old phone to be refurbished or stripped for parts. (There are also organizations, such as  Recycle My Cell Phone, that accept cell phone donations, which are tax deductible.) Beyond that, they assure us that the harmful chemicals found in old phones will not find their way back into the environment.


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