Recycle for Cash

8/14/2008:

Have any out-dated equipment or other junk lying around the house? Hoboken411 reader Halley Wolowiec found some ways to not only recycle them, but earn cash in the process:

“I thought this would be a really useful thread for our community and recycling. So interesting. I can think of lots of electronics I have lying around that I can make cash on. But just the fact that I can get rid of these things in a responsible way is fantastic and reassuring that we can do something about it. I wonder if you can post this for the community. Power to the people I say! Thanks, Halley”

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4 Ways to Earn Cash for Recycling

Recycling may be getting easier each year, but let’s face it: People are lazy. That’s why bottles get thrown into trash bins when recycling bins are a foot away. It’s also why technology ends up in landfills, when it could be deconstructed for its perfectly good parts. Four programs are trying to change that by offering armchair environmentalists cold, hard cash to recycle their stuff.

Cell for Cash

Cell for Cash offers money for an infrequently recycled gadget—your cellphone. Many people get a new cellphone each year. Some leave the old one sitting around their house, and 7 percent just throw it away. Cellphones are full of chemicals that leach into groundwater from landfills. In California, they’re considered hazardous waste. Cell for Cash lists hundreds of makes and models of phones. When you find yours, you can request a postage-paid box. Send it back with your phone and charger, and once the company verifies the contents, you’ll receive a check. Cell for Cash refurbishes the phones and sells them in developing countries. Not all phones are worth cash, though; many older models are listed on the site as “Free Recycling,” which means they have no resale value. My four-year-old Nokia phone, despite being in perfect working condition, will earn me zilch.

Gazelle

Gazelle is a site that offers you cash for any old electronics, from smart phones to laptops to video cameras. Like Cell for Cash, you find your make and model, get a price quote, and ship the gadget to Gazelle for free. Once it’s received, Gazelle evaluates the condition of the item, strips your personal data from it, and mails you a check. Once your gadget is refurbished, it’s resold or recycled responsibly. I searched the list for my fourth-generation iPod, which has been sitting in my desk drawer collecting dust. Even though it is in poor physical condition, the site offered me 30 bucks for it. Tech items that aren’t pictured in the database can still be submitted for a price quote.

Cash for Clunkers

This one’s still in the works, but a recent New York Times article by Alan Blinder outlined the plan of Cash for Clunkers. Old cars with poor environmental ratings could be traded in for cash and then scrapped and taken off the marker. Blinder thinks the plan would reduce income inequality, since old, scrappy cars are usually the property of the lowest earners, and would stimulate the economy while keeping the worst-polluting cars off the road. The idea is being tested in California, Texas, and British Columbia.

RecyleBank

Finally, RecycleBank gives you money in the form of coupons and gift certificates for grocery and pharmacy items for simply recycling your bottles, cans, and paper at home. The program has been up and running in communities in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Nebraska, Maine, and New Jersey and will expand to Minneapolis and Dallas next, RecycleBank CEO Ron Gonen says. Each household in a RecycleBank area receives a bin with a computer chip in it. The household then fills the bin with paper, glass, plastic and metal—no sorting needed—and sets the bin on the curb. When the recycling is collected, an arm on the truck weighs the bin and uses the computer chip to record the weight. The data is added to an online account, and customers can log in to redeem their points each month for coupons and gift certificates.

“We generally see about a 100 percent increase in recycling in mid- to affluent neighborhoods,” says Gonen. “In lower-income neighborhoods, it can be up to 1,000 percent, because the recycling rates are so low there.

“If you think about solar or wind power or buying a hybrid, they’re very important, but today they’re not something that’s accessible to the average person,” he said. “I look at recycling as the average thing that every person and household can do.”

Especially if it puts cash in your pockets.

Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "Recycle for Cash"


lily731
Member
8 years 29 days ago

Is RecycleBank running in Hoboken? I think a lot more people would recycle if they didn’t have to sort the recycling – as above, people are lazy.

jkriggins
Member
jkriggins
8 years 1 month ago

you can give your old cells to Verizon and they’ll give them to women’s shelters. there’s also a program called Cell Phones for Soldiers which refurbishes them for soldiers serving in Iraq & Afghanistan to use to call home

bradykp
Member
bradykp
8 years 1 month ago
[quote comment=”99477″][quote comment=”99475″]”Old cars with poor environmental ratings could be traded in for cash and then scrapped and taken off the market. Blinder thinks the plan would reduce income inequality, since old, scrappy cars are usually the property of the lowest earners, and would stimulate the economy while keeping the worst-polluting cars off the road.” It has been a long week already so maybe my brain is tired but how the FCUK do you reduce income inequality by taking cheap used cars off the market?[/quote] It is called fuzzy math – it doesn’t have to make sense, it just needs to sound like a good idea……. I agree w/ you though – this is a dumb idea. All it will do is drive up the price of the cheapest of used cars, making cars less affordable for poor people. But it sure does sound like a neat idea…….until you actually think it through![/quote] also, it’s been shown by numerous organizations that going out and buying a new “fuel efficient vehicle” to replace your current whip is not always the answer. the comparison was about keeping a hummer (H2) or buying a prius to replace it. the energy required to produce the new car ends up requiring you to drive the prius for like, 15 yrs before it makes up for it. and that’s not taking into account the battery of the prius which is still unknown. now, the story wasn’t discouraging buying hybrids or more fuel efficient vehicles, just pointing… Read more »
bradykp
Member
bradykp
8 years 1 month ago

[quote comment=”99455″]Here’s a crazy idea…how about we recycle for the sake of our environment and our future? Does money really need to be a factor?
And you can recycle cell phones by donating them to soldiers in Iraq and domestic violence sufferers. Check out http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/ or http://www.ncadv.org/files/BodyShop-NCADVPre-paidLabel.pdf%5B/quote%5D

while i completely agree with your logic, the simple truth is, some people need real incentives for doing good things. think of how many people that don’t by CFL bulbs because they’re much more expensive than standard bulbs. but they forget that they lose less energy and last much longer, far outweighing the up front cost.

if companies want to start up and offer financial incentives and it ends up increasing recycling rates – awesome.

i was amazed at the level of recycling in vancouver when i visited Whistler, B.C.

they had garbage bins, can/plastic/glass bins, and paper bins, as their public garbage cans. it was great. i read some ridiculous stat that I almost find hard to believe. it was something along the lines of that if americans recycled every bit of material that is recyclable, it would remove 75% of all waste from landfills. now, i’d be amazed to find out how much more waste would be removed if more people did organic composting, but that’s much more difficult to do in urban areas. but isn’t that an amazing number? 75%?!

matt_72
Member
8 years 1 month ago

[quote comment=”99475″]”Old cars with poor environmental ratings could be traded in for cash and then scrapped and taken off the market. Blinder thinks the plan would reduce income inequality, since old, scrappy cars are usually the property of the lowest earners, and would stimulate the economy while keeping the worst-polluting cars off the road.”

It has been a long week already so maybe my brain is tired but how the FCUK do you reduce income inequality by taking cheap used cars off the market?[/quote]

It is called fuzzy math – it doesn’t have to make sense, it just needs to sound like a good idea…….

I agree w/ you though – this is a dumb idea. All it will do is drive up the price of the cheapest of used cars, making cars less affordable for poor people. But it sure does sound like a neat idea…….until you actually think it through!

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