Image from Washington State University Campus Recycling.
US News and World Report notes this week that while recycling is important, and we all know how to do it, few of us are actually doing it because, quite frankly, it takes effort and we don't really see direct returns. This week they round up four recycling options that will put cash in your pocket.Option 1: Cell for Cash. This company lists hundreds of cell phones on their website - simply find yours and they will send you a postage paid box. When you send the phone and charger back, the company will verify it and then send you a check. Cell for Cash then refurbishes the phone and sells them in developing countries. Note: older models don't qualify for cash payment. In this case you can take them to an electronics store and recycle them there, or donate them to a women's shelter. Cell phones are full of toxic chemicals, and considered hazardous waste in California so whatever you do, don't trash them.
Option 2: Gazelle. This company, similar to Cell for Cash, will also pay you for your old electronics. Find your item on their website, and they will ship you a box and cash when they verify the item, or they can pay you via paypal, or you have the option of donating the money to charity. Can't find your item on the list? They are still willing to do a price quote if you submit the item name to them. Gazelle refurbishes and then sells the electronics or recycles them when they are un-fixable.
Option 3: Cash for Clunkers: This option is still in the works but would allow you to sell your old, polluting car, where it is then scrapped for parts and taken off the market. Currently it is being tested out in Texas, California and British Columbia.
Option 4: RecycleBank. This organization will actually give you gift certificates for food and pharmacy items just for recycling the things you might already be recycling: glass, paper and plastic, no sorting needed. Homeowners are given a bin with a computer chip, then when the recycling truck comes by, it weighs the bin and logs how much you recycled. This program is now available in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Nebraska, Maine, and New Jersey, and there are plans to expand to Minneapolis and Dallas this year. RecycleBank has seen an increase of 100% to 1000% in recycling rates across neighborhoods.
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