Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Getting Paid to Recycle?

It surprised me when I am traveling the number of soda cans and bottles I see tossed in the trash.  Not because they are not recycling them,  (I mean,  I would love to see them recycled)  but rather because I dont understand why the person wouldnt want to get paid for it.

I always have to remind myself that not every state has the ability to return bottles for a deposit,  but then again,  not every state makes you pay the deposit when you make a purchase or a container beverage either.

If you dont know what I mean,  they you probably dont live in one of the states listed in the picture below.   In fact,  you may not have even ever noticed this portion of the label,  even though to me it stands out like a sore thumb.

If you do live in one of these however,  then you actually get paid to recycle.   Techically you are jsut getting your money back,  but here is how it works.

Step one:  Go to the store and pick out  your favorite beverage.  Bring it to the counter and pay.
For soda,  beer and other canned and bottled beverages,  you will pay an extra .05 per container.   That is .30 for a six pack.

For wine and liquor,  you will pay an extra .15 per container,  which means if you buy a case of wine,  you will pay an extra $1.80.

Step two:  The good news is that there are redemption centers everywhere that you can take them back to,  and get your money back!

Most of them are machines these days,  you simply place your container in the machine,  it scans the bar code,  and prints you a receipt that you take to the cashier for money.

Even though it is money you already spent,  this is a very popular fundraiser for things like scouting or little league.  Afterall if you get the bottles and cans that other people paid for,  it is straight up profit.

What you CAN'T do however,  is purchase in another state,  and then return them in a returnable state,   That is all kinds of illegal,   just take them to the recycling center.  

But if you do live and drink in one of these states,    it totally pays to recycle.

This is my happy face:


  1. Man, I wish I got paid to recycle. I'd be rollin' in money by now.

  2. IA girl here...gettin' paid to recycle :)
    We go 2 or 3 times a year and make good money off cans and bottles :)

  3. I live in Oregon and they even made it so that water bottles are now returnable for cash. We have a great set up here where you can take them to a certain grocery store and your refund money will get donated to the local school district.