This is my second article in my side hustle series posts, and it’s a side hustle I’m quite passionate about….. recycling.
I’m a millennial so from birth its been hammered into my brain that we need to recycle and reuse as much as possible to minimise our impact on mother earth. So for me making a little cash whilst doing something that I love like recycling makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.
How do I make money from recycling?
The ability to apply this side hustle to your own situation will depend on where you are located.
In Australia at the time of posting the following states offer $0.10 per bottle recycling.
- South Australia (introduced in 1977)
- Western Australia (Return and Earn Scheme)
- New South Wales (Return and Earn Scheme)
- Australia Capital Territory (Return and Earn Scheme)
- Queensland (Return and Earn Scheme)
- Northern Territory
- Victoria (coming 2023)
- Tasmania (coming 2022)
Additionally metal and other paid recycling will again depend on your rules and regulations in your state. Check them out online or head on down to your local recycling plant to get the full story for yourself.
How does the bottle refund / recycling scheme work and what are the benefits?
The bottle refund / recycling scheme works by adding a small extra deposit on top of the price of a beverage. This extra deposit is then refunded when the purchaser returns the empty drink container for recycling.
The benefits of the recycling scheme for bottles are:
- Reduce bottle / container related litter by encouraging litter to be picked up with the reward being the $0.10 per bottle/container.
- Improved Recycling through more effective capture and sorting with reduced risk of contamination.
So how do I know what bottles or containers are part of the bottle refund / recycling scheme?
Bottles in your state or territory are marked with a stamp which indicates their ability to be recycled as part of the bottle refund / recycling scheme. Some bottle types are not able to be recycled and will not result in a refund being paid. More information on the types of bottles and containers that are recyclable under the scheme is available in the links provided above.
How much money do I make from recycling? and is it worth it?
We make about $50 bi-monthly on returning our bottles. Its not huge dollars, but it’s money for jam. Additionally due to the set up of the scheme you might as well do it as you are paying for the scheme through increased drink prices.
We additionally make money from recycling metal that my husband picks up from his side hustle business. This is infrequent but our last visit nabbed us $80 for recycling a heavy metal frame (it pays to know your recycling rates).
I track all my side hustle income in my Income and Expense Tracker.
What tips do you have for bottle recycling?
I separate my paid recycling items from my normal recyclables by placing these in a separate bin (similar to my garbage bin). I bought an additional bin for this purpose off of Gumtree for $10 many years ago. Having an additional bin is really handy as you can just load it in the car when it’s full, which makes dropping off and collecting the cash at the deposit centre a breeze.
Not everyone around you is going to want to take part in this scheme, and that’s okay. If those close to you don’t participate I recommend taking the opportunity to ask them if they would collect them for you, provide them a bin, and pick them up when full.
Also don’t be afraid to pick up a can / bottle off the side of the road. It’s helping yourself, and helping the environment.
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