On average, Americans generate more than 250 million tons of trash every year. To green living enthusiasts, this number is staggering. Citizens and cities alike have upped their recycling game in the recent past, but there is always room for improvement. What if you could not only recycle garbage items but transform that seemingly worthless trash into cash through recycling and repurposing programs? Believe it or not, you can. Here are three ways to profit from items that would normally have been kicked to the curb.
Even though electronic books are quite popular in contemporary culture, 65 percent of readers reportedly still read old-fashioned print books, so the hardcover and paperback market lives on. But what to do with those texts that you now have in electronic form, those volumes that didn’t make the collector’s cut or those old books sitting in a dusty box in the garage?
Businesses like Cash4Books.com and Ebay’s Half.com will pay to take them off your hands. Do you have a bunch of old novels or genre odds and ends? Powell’s online selling site might be interested. By entering the books’ ISBNs, you’ll find out exactly what they are willing to pay, and if you accept, they will send prepaid envelopes to ship your books in. You can earn cash and declutter your home in one swoop.
2. Junk Mail
You can literally turn junk into profit by ridding your recycling bins of the most consistent and annoyingly wasteful phenomenon of daily life — junk mail. You can also turn e-mail spam into gift cards by becoming a consumer panelist for Small Business Knowledge Center (SBKC).
Considered a market research study of electronic and snail mail marketing materials, panelists earn points for the content they mail in or forward on to SBKC. If you are self-employed or the owner of a small business, your junk mail and spam are worth even more points. After accruing a certain number of points, you can then cash in for gift cards.
With many cell phone companies producing upgraded models nearly every year, the fear of obsolescence drives some consumers to purchase a new device annually. Others, about 44 percent, will wait a whopping two years before purchasing a new device. With that kind of overturn, a good number of buyers are left with what was, only the year before, a $500-700 phone that is no longer in use.
Though one option is to donate an old phone, if you can’t bring yourself to part with an expensive piece of tech for kindness’ sake, companies like Gazelle are willing to pay cash for those outdated phones. Visit the website, choose your model and describe the condition of your device and within seconds you’ll have an offer from the company for your phone. If you accept, most of these sites will send you a pre-paid postage envelope and pay you through PayPal, check or Amazon gift card. Before you send your smartphone in to receive your payment, these programs require that you return your device to factory setting. You should figure out how to reset your iPhone before selling your cell to a recycling program or an individual.
It is possible to start living green and recycle while putting cash in your pocket if you know where to look. Make use of these suggestions to not only better your recycling efforts but to also earn a little money.