Recycling old electronics may be a money making idea you’ve never heard of before, but you can make significant money doing it. In this article I’ll show you what eWaste is and how you can make money on the side (or full time!) with this unusual way to make money.
What is eWaste?
Of course eWaste is short for electronic waste. How many old electronic devices do you have sitting around the house just taking up space? Well, you’re not the only one! Most everybody has old computers, monitors, cell phones, digital cameras, phones, and other electronics sitting around the house just taking up space.
Most of us know that many electronic devices can’t be thrown out in the regular trash, as they have contaminants that can harm the environment. So you have to go to the trouble of finding an electronics recycler to take your eWaste off your hands.
Of course, most people don’t go to that trouble, so they just let their old electronic devices take up space.
That’s where you come in…
Make Money Recycling Old Electronics
You can start by asking around to friends and family if they have any old electronic devices they’d like to get rid of. Most people would be glad to let you take that old desktop and monitor (that they haven’t used in years) off their hands.
After that, you can target businesses, schools, and any other organization that might have dozens of old unused devices sitting in storage. You could literally load a truck with the number of unused devices you could get access to without having to pay anything. Of course, most of these people would be happy just to get the junk out of their house!
So How Do You Make Money Recycling Electronics?
So many people don’t realize that almost every part of a computer or other electronic device has some value. Here’s a list of some of the items you can get money for:
- Metal from computer towers and TVs
- Glass from old TVs and Computer monitors
- Computer mother boards
- Hard drives
- Computer chips
- Gold connector pins
- Copper wiring
- And more…
Where Can You Sell Electronic Scrap?
Some of these parts, like circuit boards, computer chips, and computer cases can be sold on sites such as EBay, Craigslist, Amazon, and others.
As for plastic and metal scrap, you can take those to your local recycler and get paid by the pound.
Here's a great video showing the variety of electronic parts that can be recycled for cash:
Here's a Ted Talk by Arman Sedeghi of All Green Recycling on the impact and importance of recycling electronic waste:
Some Electronic Waste is More Valuable
Some electronic parts have valuable metals (such as gold, silver, platinum, and others) that you can remove and send to a refiner for processing. Many parts are manufactured with solid gold or gold plated connector pins that can be detached from the part and sent to a precious metals refiner.
You Can Choose Your Business Model
Overall, there are several ways you can get access to old electronics for recycling. Some are easier (and more profitable!) than others.
Offer to Haul Away Electronic Scrap for Free
Of course, free is always a good way to entice people to act. When you advertise that you will haul off any kind of eWaste for free, many people will be happy to let you come and get that junk out of their lives for good!
Great places to advertise your haul away service are:
- Thrift Stores- Sometimes they get more computers and electronics than they can handle and need to get rid of them.
- Ads in your free local classifieds
- Leave flyers at yard sales
Charge a Fee to Haul Off Their Junk
You can also charge a fee to haul electronic junk away. This would probably work better if you market your electronic recycling service to businesses. Businesses would be more likely to have a large number of electronic devices they would need to get rid of. Usually they would be more willing to pay someone to get it out of their sight than an individual would.
Hold an Electronics Recycling Drive
Get the word out to your local church or school that you’d like to hold an electronic scrap drive. Emphasize that this will keep harmful contaminants out of the landfill and that all devices will be recycled. You could also offer to give the organization a percentage of the profits made from recycling.
Also, you can put the event up on Craigslist and alert your local paper, TV station, and radio station about the drive to get more people to bring their old electronics in for recycling.
Turn Electronic Recycling Into a Full Time Business
Once you start making money recycling electronics as a side hustle, you might like it so much you decide to ramp up the business and go full time! The cool thing is if you do it right, you’re not only helping people unclutter their home and businesses, you’re also helping the environment. And of course the added bonus is making money in the process- It’s a win-win for everybody involved!