8 things to recycle for make money

Before you decide to discard any items, it’s wise to peruse the following list. We will explore some of the most valuable, straightforward, and lucrative items that you can recycle to earn some extra cash.

It’s a well-established fact that recycling your old belongings is a crucial means of lessening your carbon footprint. However, what not everyone realizes is that aside from being environmentally friendly, recycling can also serve as a profitable endeavor.

In this guide, our discussion won’t revolve around items like paper and cardboard that can be conveniently placed in your recycling bin (although we strongly encourage recycling these materials as well). Instead, we’ll be delving into the ways you can generate income by recycling items such as clothing, phones, plastic bags, and many other things that you might otherwise consider discarding.

Best things to recycle for cash

Here are the top 15 things you can get paid to recycle:

1. Mobile phones

Numerous exceptional phone recycling programs are available that provide compensation or vouchers in exchange for your old mobile devices.

These programs may offer direct payment for your old phone, or you could receive a voucher to offset the cost of a new device.

The amount you’ll be offered hinges on various factors, including the make, model, and condition of your phone. While functional devices typically command higher prices, you can still recycle damaged phones for money.

Some notable examples of phone recycling programs include O2 Recycle, EE Recycle, and Giffgaff Recycle. For more detailed information about these options and additional reputable recycling companies, consult our guide on selling old phones for the best possible price.

2. Clothes

Clothes rail

To prevent your old clothing items from being consigned to a landfill, it’s advantageous to explore fashion recycling initiatives.

Take, for instance, Rapanui, known for being one of the premier sustainable fashion brands. They operate a circular supply chain, allowing their worn-out garments to be returned for recycling at no cost. When you send back your old Rapanui clothing, it undergoes transformation into new products, and you’ll receive a coupon that provides a discount on your next purchase with them.

Another effective method for recycling clothes is through the reGAIN app. This scheme enables you to donate your old clothing to charity, preventing them from ending up in landfills. In return, you’ll receive discount coupons that can be used for clothing purchases.

Moreover, several high-street fashion retailers have their clothing recycling programs. A prominent example is the H&M Garment Collecting program, which furnishes £5 digital vouchers in exchange for clothing items, regardless of the brand, not limited to H&M products.

3. Shoes

Interested in parting with your footwear? schuh’s recycling initiative, aptly named “Sell Your Soles,” makes it possible.

To participate in this program, simply bring your old shoes to any schuh store, regardless of whether they were originally purchased from schuh. These shoes will be recycled, and for each pair you contribute, you’ll receive a £5 voucher. For additional information, it’s advisable to review the terms and conditions of schuh’s recycling scheme.

Additionally, Runners Need stores often have designated recycling bins for running shoes. While you might not always receive a voucher for recycling your running shoes with them, they have previously run promotional deals, providing £20 in vouchers for old running shoes.

If any similar offers become available, we will feature them on our deals page and Facebook group.

4. Laptops

When you’re in the market for a new laptop, consider selling your old one through a recycling program. It’s an excellent way to both make money and contribute to a more sustainable planet.

For instance, if you opt to sell your laptop through musicMagpie’s recycling scheme, they will either responsibly recycle it or refurbish it for resale to another individual.

Selling your laptop to musicMagpie is a straightforward process. You’ll need to provide them with details about the make, model, and condition of your device, and they will offer you an instant, free quote. You can then send your laptop to them at no cost and receive payment on the same day.

Another platform to explore is Laptops Direct. To secure the best offer for your old laptop, consider obtaining quotes from various companies to compare prices.

5. Aluminium cans

If you’re looking to generate income from your old cans, consider selling them through recycling centers.

The Think Cans website provides a list of recycling centers in the UK.

It’s worth noting that when you’ve heard references to getting “cash from cans,” it’s typically a figure of speech. In reality, scrap metal dealers are not permitted to provide payment in cash for metal. You should expect to be paid via electronic transfer or by cheque.

6. Plastic bags

plastic bag

If you happen to have an excess of plastic bags at home, you have an opportunity to recycle them and earn money in the process.

Certain supermarkets and online food stores are willing to offer compensation for your old plastic bags.

For example, Ocado will provide you with 10p for each Ocado bag that you return to them. While they accept various types of plastic bags for recycling, payment is only made for Ocado bags.

Currently, Ocado recycles 89% of the bags returned to them, but they are actively working to improve this percentage, as stated on their website.

Other supermarkets may also have recycling schemes in place in some of their stores, where they offer payment for old plastic bags or bottles. To check if a nearby store has such a recycling scheme, you can visit your local supermarket or ask for their guidance.

7. Old tech

Currys offers an excellent “cash for trash” program, allowing you to make money from your old, unwanted tech by bringing it to their store for recycling.

To participate, simply take your unwanted tech to your nearest store, and you will receive a minimum of £5 to use toward your next in-store or online purchase (with a minimum spend of £25).

Currys accepts any electrical appliance powered by a battery or mains supply plug, whether it’s an old TV or a toaster. It doesn’t have to be originally purchased from Currys.

For more valuable unwanted items like laptops, phones, and tablets, you can obtain an instant online valuation. You will receive an estimate reference, which can be presented in-store to trade in your item for a gift card to use toward a new product.

Keep an eye on special offers online, where you can receive additional discounts when trading eligible devices for selected products.

8. Amazon gadgets

One of the best ways to make money on Amazon is by recycling your old gadgets through its Trade-In program.

Amazon’s Trade-In program accepts a wide range of devices, not limited to Amazon products. They’ll take items like Kindles, Amazon Echos, some game consoles, smartphones, and more.

In exchange for your old electrical items, you’ll receive an Amazon gift card. You can view the full range of eligible devices on their website.

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