Can You Make Decent Money Collecting Soda Cans?

by feedtherightwolf 59 replies
I am just looking to supplement my income. I have a wedding to pay for in less than a year, and am trying to save/ear as much as I can.

My work has a lot of buildings, and there is a lot of recycling containers all over the place. I was thinking may be I could make a few extra bucks by collecting used cans and recycling them?

I am not sure if I am being too cheap, or if I am being entrepreneurial. I was wondering if anybody had similar experience. Thanks!
#main internet marketing discussion forum #cans #collecting #decent #make #money #soda
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  • Profile picture of the author troybh
    Spent a bunch of time and totally loaded up my pickup truck with cans. Got about $7 for it and probably wasted more gas than the $7.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by troybh View Post

      Spent a bunch of time and totally loaded up my pickup truck with cans. Got about $7 for it and probably wasted more gas than the $7.
      Yep, that one is going to depend on the gas.

      Now, what might be an interesting study to do is this:

      Start up a Facebook fan page - or even a blogger blog

      Get all your friends and family involved who will be going to the wedding event

      Set it up so that they save all their recycles for you, and drop them off to your house.

      Put up a regular tab that shows how much has been collected for the wedding.

      Use that as just one source, and work on some additional things.

      If you are in the US, a lot of people like to do the freecycle thing. They go on Craigs list, get something that is free, and then go post it on ebay to sell.

      Brainstorm and come up with a list of things to try.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
        Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

        Yep, that one is going to depend on the gas.

        Now, what might be an interesting study to do is this:

        Start up a Facebook fan page - or even a blogger blog

        Get all your friends and family involved who will be going to the wedding event

        Set it up so that they save all their recycles for you, and drop them off to your house.

        Put up a regular tab that shows how much has been collected for the wedding.

        Use that as just one source, and work on some additional things.

        If you are in the US, a lot of people like to do the freecycle thing. They go on Craigs list, get something that is free, and then go post it on ebay to sell.

        Brainstorm and come up with a list of things to try.


        This is like the shot-gun wedding from hell...
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    • Profile picture of the author reapr
      Originally Posted by troybh View Post

      Spent a bunch of time and totally loaded up my pickup truck with cans. Got about $7 for it and probably wasted more gas than the $7.
      You may want to start saving up for a another truck before it is over.

      If Gov allows 51 cents per mileage and it just went up ... then you have a better idea where you stand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shane N
    That right there is the REAL bum marketing!

    It could work, but it depends how many cans you have access to.

    You might be able to make much more money doing something else with
    your time, as that may be quite time consuming...

    MATHEMATICS:


    At $0.05 cents per can, you would need 20,000 cans for every $1,000 you want to make.
    If you got $0.10 cents/can -- You'd need 10,000 cans per $1,000 and so on... Seems tough, especially considering a wedding costs at least $5,000 - $10,000+ (More like $20k).
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    • Profile picture of the author candoit2
      You buy them from business owners who have lots. Go get them daily or weekly depending on the volume.

      Pay 50% of the value and pocket the rest.

      Many business owners find pop cans and bottles a hassle to deal with, and if someone comes in and clears them out of there with cash in hand it is cheaper to accept the cash than send an employee or use their own time to take them in.

      Aaron
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  • Profile picture of the author jerytohn
    I'd suggest spending your time doing niche sites and selling them off when they are profitable ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Durham
    have a backyard wedding...
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    • Profile picture of the author theory expert
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Ken Durham View Post

      have a backyard wedding...
      Except his wife to be would have an uproar
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      • Profile picture of the author payment proof
        Does your state have a deposit you put on soda cans? Or would you be selling them for scrap?

        If you get 5 cents per can you collect, you could make a few bucks. But you'd probably be able to make more online.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    Hello,
    if the cans are in a recycling bin they may be the property of that city, so be careful on that one.
    When I was a little kid I used to collect bottles for just 2 cents and cans did not count back then.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    hmmm... ya that is a waste of time. Just go to the court house
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
    THIS works...I know, I have done it for an organization.

    1. Develop a route for picking up garbage
    2. Speak to some local businesses in and around those routes and ask if they will sponsor your activities
    3. Get business to furnish some simple signs AND a shirt with their info (Honk if you love Clean Streets)
    4. issue a simple press release to local paper about the efforts
    5. Hit the streets, cleaning them up, giving promo and press to your sponsor, collect the money. You can easily lock in $250+ for a business that wants a FEEL GOOD boost plus some direct advertising

    The cans? A means to an end...the MARKETING is what pays the bills...

    Mac the Knife (now, most will NEVER do this...that is why so much OPPORTUNITY exists in the world...most never take advantage of it...)
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    sounds you got sometime to waste. Cans wouldn't make you any money they paying per pound. I would say working online click ads may pay you better
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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    Honestly there are much better means to making money, even via offline.

    You aren't gonna get rich collecting cans, that's for sure.

    Spend the time that you would collecting cans providing a service online, there's gotta be something that you can market on Fiverr which will make you more money than collecting cans.

    Take the time that you saved that you would've spent collecting cans and put it into learning something of value online or creating a valuable asset that you can flip. You won't learn much collecting cans, but you can learn anything you want on the internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I collect cans that are tossed where I go rock hunting. When I lived in Idaho cans were only 15 cents per pound. Over the summer I collected them from sites I was at and saved them to see what I could get. I got 30 bucks. Mind you I never went looking for them, just picked up what was laying in my path. Would have collected the plastic too if there had been a price on it, although sometimes I did pick up other trash just for GPs to clean a nice site up if I had a place to take the trash and bags to collect it.

    In New York I collected cans around a 4 mile or so block I walked Munchie around. There was a 5 cent deposit on them. Plastic and glass ones, too. I got a tank of gas out of it. Gas was cheaper, though, then. I can't remember the price but it was a little over 2 bucks a gallon.

    I just moved to NV and will probably pick them up at rock hunting sites here, too. To me its just right to clean them up if you walk by them - and if it can make you a few bucks to do that, you earned it for caring about pollution and people turning the whole earth into their trashcan. You won't support yourself doing that so it may not be worth doing for real cash, but everyone should just do it anyhow. Even if the cans and bottles just go in a trashcan when they get to one.
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  • Profile picture of the author brentb
    Short answer: No

    Long answer: Hell No! Doing almost anything else that makes money would be more productive.
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    • Profile picture of the author chrisen
      I used to save all of mine and an old roommates cans instead of throwing them in the trash. We would just put them in separate bags and store them in the garage. We saved them for about a year before turning them in. We had about 30 large trash bags full of cans. Made about $15.00 if I remember right:rolleyes:. I think they based the payout on weight instead of a certain amount per can.
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  • Profile picture of the author DJL
    The cans are worth more if they're full of soda pop.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    Depending on the season and location, there are a lot of people heading towards the beach/parks. Not sure how to set it up, but on the lines of #8 just set yourself in that type of area and pay kids the 50% of the deposit.

    Except for still having to take the cans to recycling, this becomes professional bum marketing in that others come to you . Cheaper on gas too.

    Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
    Originally Posted by brentb View Post

    Short answer: No

    Long answer: Hell No! Doing almost anything else that makes money would be more productive.



    I went to the University of Nebraska for college. Every other saturday in the fall is huge, hundred thousand people are tail gating. Several times I went down to the stadium and picked up cans as the game was going on. The most I ever made was $414. The worst I ever did was $140.

    A lot of my friends made fun of me, and I certainly hope I never have to do something like that again, but I was also broke and had gotten my girlfriend pregnant when I was in 11th grade and so was trying to pay my way through college and take care of a family.

    Today marked the end of my fiscal year for 2011 and I crossed the $1million sales mark in my business for the first time. Next year my daughter will be going off to college and not have to worry about money and all of the things I had on my plate, but the point is you do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.

    I have a lot more respect for someone who comes up with a practical solution and does it as opposed to someone who just wastes time on bull**** and dreams, that's for sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
      Originally Posted by kellyburdes View Post

      I went to the University of Nebraska for college. Every other saturday in the fall is huge, hundred thousand people are tail gating. Several times I went down to the stadium and picked up cans as the game was going on. The most I ever made was $414. The worst I ever did was $140.

      A lot of my friends made fun of me, and I certainly hope I never have to do something like that again, but I was also broke and had gotten my girlfriend pregnant when I was in 11th grade and so was trying to pay my way through college and take care of a family.

      Today marked the end of my fiscal year for 2011 and I crossed the $1million sales mark in my business for the first time. Next year my daughter will be going off to college and not have to worry about money and all of the things I had on my plate, but the point is you do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.

      I have a lot more respect for someone who comes up with a practical solution and does it as opposed to someone who just wastes time on bull**** and dreams, that's for sure.

      Fantastic post... I wanted to recognize this post so that others would see it. This guy says it all... I would have given him a "Thanks" instead but mine are all used up for today.

      Great Post
      Mike Hill
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    Interesting topic and plenty of people saying HELL NO. Collecting cans isn't going to make you any money.

    Well whether it paid for gas, or not, the guy above still made $7. I have students that have mentioned to me, and there's been plenty of post on WF, about them doing IM for 6 months now and haven't made ANYTHING!!!

    Lets see, $7 from one trip of cans or 6 months with absolutely NOTHING?
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    • Profile picture of the author Brad Langston
      Great idea depending on where you live. I lived i California in the late 80's and got over $1 per pound for cans. Quicker money than trying to follow most WSO's that leave you broker than when you started and more confused than ever. A year and half on the warrior forum has got me wanting to collect cans myself.
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi feedtherightwolf,

        I am not sure if I am being too cheap, or if I am being entrepreneurial.
        With respect, I would suggest that it is much more the former than the latter. I possibly wouldn't use the same wording as the former, but I definitely wouldn't say that it qualifies as the latter.

        Hi BiggB,

        Great idea depending on where you live. I lived i California in the late 80's and got over $1 per pound for cans. Quicker money than trying to follow most WSO's that leave you broker than when you started and more confused than ever. A year and half on the warrior forum has got me wanting to collect cans myself.
        Again, with respect, have you ONLY been trying to 'follow WSOs' or have you also taken some of the free advice here and combined it with your own ideas, implemented and tested them?
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        • Profile picture of the author capitalalchemy
          Yes. It can work. Actually, when I first started anything it was from charging my dad a $5 a week fee for cleaning up pop cans around his business. Learned to write him an invoice and everything from what he had taught me.

          Only difference was that I wasn't recycling them. My family is in the steel business, so they monitor things like this naturally. I can't tell you whether or not prices are up or down, but there is a market for it in some way or another, and they are always fluctuating.

          So in other words, yes - recycling cans is always an avenue of income, and is always a way to make money in my family. You are never being too cheap when you are doing something that others will not think of/do.

          Recycling cans for profit can really add up, because the guys who are paying you on behalf are taking profit too. Haha, I've known a couple of multi-millionaire scrappers.

          Go for it - don't expect loads, but it can add up! proactive is what makes money, not sitting and stagnating!
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    heres what you do, collect as many can as you can for a month. say you make $500.

    then use that money to create and market a product that teaches people how o make $500 a month collecting cans. Jackpot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Gehr
    Work smarter, not harder.

    This sounds like a lot of work for a very low return.

    My first reaction to your story is perhaps you need to step back and take a longer look at your situation. In others words (without getting too personal), once you've paid for the wedding, then you're going to have 2 mouths to feed--unless your partner works too, and you combine your incomes.

    If you're thinking of collecting cans to supplement your income, I would assume that your skill level is either limited, or you are not an idea person.

    I say this with all due respect, but there's got to be a more profitable venture for you to achieve your goal.

    I think you would make more money by approaching a relative in business and offering your services, or looking for a part time job that would suit you. If you were planning on collecting cans, you must have a lot of extra time on your hands, so if you were to put that time into something more financially viable, it would make more sense to have a better proposal than what you are contemplating.

    Have you looked at Fiverr for a gig that might suit you?

    Alternatively, if you were to approach your community leaders and explain your position to them, they too may be able to slot you into something that pays better and take less time.

    These are just a few thoughts, and I'm sure you can compile the comments within this thread to secure a solid path forward.

    I wish you well.
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  • Profile picture of the author n1985
    Haha. In Southern Australia you can 10cents per bottle or can you deposite, if you can get 10000s of them could make up a nice profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Targeted Traffic
    Yes it can but...instead of spending time and effort gathering cans, just sit in front of your computer and put that effort and "motivation" to IM...
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  • Profile picture of the author intmailmc
    LOL, this tell me this thread really doesn't exist on the Warrior Forum...
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  • Profile picture of the author rallenk
    Man, I applaud your resolve and work ethic, but there are better ways. But if you're stuck on collecting scrap aluminum and selling it to the recyclers, go after all the transmission repair shops/auto repair shops in your area and collect their scrap/old transmission cases. They're all aluminum, and heavy....lol
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  • Profile picture of the author feedtherightwolf
    I really appreciate all of the replies. After calculating, I decided to stcick to IM. I fugured I would need 2-3 hours to collect 200 cans. In that time I could write 1 good artice. If that articles makes 1 sales over its life time, I will triple my return on investment.

    I am allready making about 500 a month with IM, but I am a little burned out with the process. Last thing I want to do after a full day staring at the screen at work is to go home, and spand the rest of my night still starring at the screen, walking around collecting cans sounded like fun comparing to that. But I have to be rational and follow the money, or find something else physical and more profitable to do for extra income.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathy Curiel
    Wow I think you better spend you money making a blog or something like that. Less work and more money
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Back in school, I had a teacher who paid for her vacation every year by collecting cans.
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        Back in school, I had a teacher who paid for her vacation every year by collecting cans.
        In college, there was a guy everyone called the Can Man. Basically, he got up every morning and went all across town gathering up beer cans from, well, everywhere. Since this was college, there were lots of them. He made a living from it, and sent a daughter to college doing it.

        So it's doable, especially if you live in a college town.
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  • Profile picture of the author redbearing
    Just imagine how much time it will take you to collect the cans and the amount of money that you're going to make from it. Sorry to say this but it's not going to worth it.

    There are better ways to start making decent amount of income. If you want to spend time outside, you might as well offer web design service to local business owners in your area. You don't even have to build the sites yourself if you don't have the skill. Collect some deposit and outsource it to someone else.

    If you can get $500 for a website and make a $200 profit from it, you'll need to build 50 websites to make $10k. Sounds a lot better right?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Robertson
      You're just looking at the wrong metal!

      When you collect and sell cans, the metal recycler looks at them as aluminum - rather than as cans. The price he will pay for aluminum is respectable, but each can is so light that you need thousands to add up to a worthwhile weight.

      Scrap iron (where I live) gets $13 per hundred pounds. And it's easy to gather 1,000 pounds for a pickup truck load if you're hauling something like obsolete industrial machinery or junk cars.

      Scrap brass and copper bring much higher prices if you can find sources of these metals to sell. Think building demolition, where you get copper from wiring and brass from water fixtures.

      Steve R.
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  • Profile picture of the author txconx
    1. Shop around for the recycling center giving the best return. My son fills up the back hatch of his little Eclipse and he gets over $40.

    2. Elope to Vegas. It's cheaper. And you won't feel so bad if the marriage fails in the first 5 years.
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  • Profile picture of the author thomas1984
    I got married in the cord house... cost me $25 for the marriage license.. you could make that in one full day of canning.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    An old man in the town that my wife grew up in, sells ice cream out of the back of an old station wagon (lol, no joke).

    This guy paid for both of his kids to go to college, from selling ice cream after he got of work at his 9-5 job. The kids are both grown now, & this guy still sells ice cream. Must pay the bills...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Fulton
    We only have 1 state that takes money for cans and you only get 5c/can. It would take me over 15 hours to drive to this state and with petrol now at $1.50 / ltr , think i would lose out big time.

    This reminds me of a Seinfeld episode.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      LOL at this thread. I would be awfully depressed if I were a newbie reading this thread. Why would a bunch of Imers where you are supposed to make all this easy cash be kicking around the idea of collecting cans to pay for a wedding?

      Just imagine your new and you just spent the last hour wondering if all those shiny WSOs really worked and if you should buy them and then bam heres a long discussion on collecting soda cans for cash.

      "Hey Mildred you can forget about this internet marketers thing they are worse off than us. I think we will do MLM instead"

      Now I know some people are just socializing but think about it. If you were thinking of becoming a stock broker and read a bunch of Stock Brokers talking about collecting soda cans to pay wedding bills for one of their own getting married what would you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    IM or Scrap Metal?

    Here's a mixture of the two: Scrap Metal Prices and Scrap Metal Auctions
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  • Profile picture of the author Goldenboy
    Yes, of course. There is money in it, as they say, a person's thrash, might be a treasure for others. Although it's not that much, but still gives you some earnings. I would also like the suggestion that you have to contact local business that sells or has soda cans in their establishment that you will be collecting those cans, instead of throwing it all in the garbage. You can inquire from them if you can set up your own bag for empty soda cans in their premises or establishments, that you will take your bags in a weekly or daily basis, whichever time you are available to do it.
    And also, try to gather as much empty soda cans before you take them all to the junk shop or any store that buys empty soda cans. You might spend more money in your gas than what you will earn if you will take those soda cans in a weekly basis. But if the store is just two or three blocks away, you might want to borrow some cart for your soda cans, in that way, you will definitely saves money for gas and will definitely earn some money from cans.
    It is also a way of helping our environment and save our planet from pollution and from non-biodegradable materials.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Milburn
    Originally Posted by feedtherightwolf View Post

    I am just looking to supplement my income. I have a wedding to pay for in less than a year, and am trying to save/ear as much as I can.

    My work has a lot of buildings, and there is a lot of recycling containers all over the place. I was thinking may be I could make a few extra bucks by collecting used cans and recycling them?

    I am not sure if I am being too cheap, or if I am being entrepreneurial. I was wondering if anybody had similar experience. Thanks!
    Thanks for the question and well done thinking outside the box.

    As others have said cans only bring in small amounts of money, why not expand a bit, - ink cartridges, cellphones, printers and computers all these are recycled and fetch large amounts of money.

    Here In the Uk you can recycle an old iPhone 3 and get around £100

    Well done and best wishes for your wedding.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaunburke
    You'll need the cans to tie to your car for after the wedding!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author CoffeeIceCream
    The time spent going all over the place picking up cans would be much better spent in just getting a job where at least you are making money. I don't think collecting soda cans would be that profitable....
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    You might want to start dropping hints to your child about eloping.
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  • Profile picture of the author Reed7
    The demand is there, if you can find a reasonable supply, might make sense. The idea mentioned regarding working as middleman may be worth pursuing. There are so many new value items that may offer much better return other than cans, for example PC boards, Cell Phones/Laptops/Notebooks, with either a component , or reusable sub assembly part (s), that may be much easier to find a supply, and move them for a quick return....
    I would recommend looking a bit broader than cans, think you will find a true niche , everyone already recognizes cans.. I can say this though, the most successful people I have ever met, are in either in Recycle, or the Restaurant biz....
    -Hope that helps
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  • Profile picture of the author manny2513
    Yes you can make money like that but you really have to collect lots of cans to see some real money. I will take that time and effort to do affiliate marketing or Sell a gig on fiverr you wil make more monay like that
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  • Profile picture of the author funkynassau
    We had a pile of pop cans in our barn left over from some Scouts Canada thing my husband was involved in. We stuffed them in his van and took them to the recycle place and got just about $100. for them! Aluminum must be up in price! So it was worth it, plus they are now out of the barn.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bleach
    All you Warriors disappoint me. I just joined today, and my first thought upon reading this post was "how fast before some tries to sell this guy an e-book on can recycling?"

    Not one of you did. For shame. Now hold on OP while I write an e-book on "Secrets to Massive Can Recycling Profits Revealed!"
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  • Profile picture of the author JimmyRose
    You'd be better off having a 'waste collection' service, and include the recyclables in it. I know of a guy locally that 'defurbishes' offices - he just takes all of the furniture OUT, and charges for it. Then he just pawns it on eBay anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author foreignnative
    I had a friend who collected cans every Thursday night at the center of town. There's a 75 cent deposit (equivalent in USD) on large glass bottles where he lived. He made about 100 dollars a week or so doing it. The only problem is that it's a little embarrassing. He was 18 so everyone knew he wasn't homeless but he still had to explain to a number of people what he was doing. Eventually people got to know him and helped him collect bottles. Do the math though, 100 dollars for 3 hours = 33.3 dollars an hour. Not passive income, no room to expand but it's good money for a completely unskilled job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Hatfield
    I know a guy who owns a bar and has about a half a dumpster a day of glass bottles. If you talked to bar owners to pick up for them you could get the glass in bulk and take it to a recycling center.

    I also know a guy who says he makes 150-200 a day collecting scrap metal. He goes around to different cities on trash day and gets all the metal out of the out of the trash piles in front of people's houses.

    Hope that helps you a little.
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  • I know an old timer who lives off of selling soda cans. He rides his bike to collect them (I've never seen him drive) and people in the community leave them out for him.

    It's like an unspoken agreement we all have to give him our recyclables. He's on his bike all day, going from house to house getting cans. Even some stores leave them out for him.

    And come to think about it, I don't he's ever had a regular 9 to 5. He will take whatever you are throwing away and get some use out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMWinner
    Definitely, there is money from thrash. But I would suggest, aside from soda cans, you might just want to include some aluminium, they are heavier and costs much than soda cans, lol.
    Anyway, you just have to try to collect sacks of soda cans since if you try to bring those cans per week, you are wasting some gas and in reality, you spend more on gas than the income you earn from selling soda cans. One great suggestion is that you can asked someone in your town or area, who owns a business like a bar or food shoppe, to put some sack in his/her establishment and you would collect it per weekly basis.
    In that, you can collect more sodas in a weekly basis and will not be spending more on your gas than what you earn from your cans. Or you can posts some page, so that people in your neighbourhood will know where to throw or deliver their soda cans.
    Saving the environment at the same time earning some money, continue in what you are doing.
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