Posted in Tips

Side Hustle 2: Recycling Bottles, Cans, Paper

When I was living in Beijing, a lot of the elderly people who were retired took to finding bottles, cans, boxes and paper to recycle. I usually save some of my bottles and cans to give it to them when I see them on the street on my way to work or on my way home. It felt good helping them earn a little bit and help me save the environment.

When I migrated to California and was caring for my mom, they have 3 bags of plastic bottles and aluminum cans in my aunt’s garage. They told me they were waiting for another bag before bringing it to the recycling station. Since in California, if you bring less than 50 plastic bottles or aluminum cans, you will get whatever the recycling amount for that size which you paid extra when you bought it (i.e. 5 or 10 cents). However, if you bring it by the bag, they will weigh it and pay you by the pound. So when I brought the bags to the recycling station in our city, those 4 bags of bottles and cans only amounted to around $25. For me, it wasn’t bad since I didn’t do much to collect it. After that first load, bringing my second load, only got me less than $20. Not all states have this kind of recycling concept. Better check your local government on what they accept. Some only accept aluminum cans while some do not have any recycling system at all.

Since it was giving me much, I gave the bottles and cans I collect to my retired uncle. Reminds me my Beijing days helping the elderly earn a little bit of money.