Where To Recycle Plastic Bottles for Cash Near Me: 10 Best States To Make Money

Ready to make cash from trash? Don’t just throw away your used plastic bottles if you want to be environmentally responsible while making some extra money. Interested? Then, you may wonder, “where to recycle plastic bottles for cash near me.”

Recycling items is beneficial not only to the environment but to you as well. You can make a handsome amount by recycling plastic bottles. 

Why Recycling Plastic Bottles Is Important

Some 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour are thrown away by people in the US. These bottles go to waste and adversely affect the environment. 

Making new plastic also requires a lot of fossil fuels. More than 99% of plastics are made from chemicals derived from fossil fuels. 

Considering all the effects of not recycling a plastic bottle, you should better deposit yours at the nearest bottle redemption center. On top of it, you will get a good share of money for your service, so it’s a win-win situation.

Researching recycling and recyclable buy-back programs in your location would be the first step. This article will give you an overview of plastic bottle recycling and the possible places to earn money while recycling. 

Where To Recycle Plastic Bottles for Cash Near Me

1. Bottle Redemption Center 

Bottle redemption centers are among the most common places to deposit your bottles. All you need to do is to search for the nearest bottle redemption center in your area and check if it offers bottle bills. 

2. Pepsi Dream Machine

Pepsi introduced dream machines on Earth Day 2010 and has worked on this initiative for over a decade to improve the environment. 

A dream machine works like a vending machine, but you put the bottles in instead of taking them out. It works as a bin where you can place your used empty bottles for reward points, redeemable at Greenopolis.com, a Pepsi partner for recycling initiative. 

3. Convenience Stores

Convenience stores accept empty plastic bottles, as most of the stores are a part of the recycling program. For every bottle returned, they offer various rewards to the consumers, which include cash or vouchers.

4. Grocery Stores

Grocery stores and supermarkets follow bottle deposit laws in the states that have them. These stores have machines for recycling, usually located at the back of the store. 

In grocery stores, you can trade all your plastic bottles for cash. Ask your local store manager if they have a machine before taking your bottles to the store. 

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Which States Pay For Depositing Empty Plastic Bottles?

One barrier between you and cash is your location. While all states in America have recycling programs, only 10 have bottle bills or laws about container deposit returns. So, make sure you live in a state with laws regarding bottle deposits. 

Also, not all of them pay you for your service. If you live in 1 of the following states, you can partially get your bottle deposit back and help the environment. 


California pays around 5 cents for depositing a container of fewer than 24 ounces. If it exceeds 24 ounces, the pay rate doubles. 

The bottle container can be made of plastic, bi-metal, or glass.


The pay rate in Hawaii is a bit less compared to California. In this state, you can earn around 5 cents for a 68-ounce plastic, bi-metal, glass, or aluminum container. 


In Connecticut, you can earn around 5 cents for any empty bottle regardless of the material it is made up of. 

Please remember that HDPE containers are not included.


In Maine, you will get paid 5 cents for any container with less than 135 ounces of liquid space. If you deposit a liquor or wine bottle, the pay rate will be around 15 cents. 


The pay rate in Massachusetts is the same as in Maine. Any bottle made up of glass, metal, or plastic deposited for recycling will be paid 5 cents per bottle.

New York

New York will pay you 5 cents per bottle, jar, or can made up of aluminum, steel, glass, or plastic. 

Remember that the bottle’s total volume should be less than 128 ounces.


Oregon accepts many different kinds of bottles, including plastic. 

The pay rate for a single beverage container is around 10 cents. 


Vermont pays for glass, paper, and plastic bottles. For liquor, it pays around 15 cents per bottle. 

For other containers, you can earn around 5 cents. 


Michigan keeps things simple by offering the same cash for all bottle types, including paper, glass, metal, and plastic. It pays around 10 cents per container.


Iowa also pays for plastic, carton, or jar made of glass, metal, or plastic. The pay rate is around 5 cents per item.

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How To Recycle Plastic Bottles for Cash on My Own 

Step 1: Collecting Plastic Bottles

Before you start recycling plastic bottles for cash, you need to find a fair amount of empty bottles to send to the recycler. You can collect the bottles at home over time or head to the most common sources of empty plastic bottles discussed later in this article. 

Step 2: Separating Different Plastic Types

Once you have some plastic bottles in your bag, start separating different plastic types. 

In the USA, the following plastic types are most commonly recycled:

  • PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
  • HDPE (High-density polyethylene)

PET includes water bottles and plastic trays, whereas HDPE includes products such as shampoo bottles and toys

Step 3: Cleaning

Recycling programs or centers in most states ask you to clean the bottles before depositing them. The remnants usually contain many elements and odors that attract insects, making recycling difficult.

Step 4: Check Recycling Center Policies and Pay Rates

This important step is where you check if the recycling center in your area accepts PET and HDPE plastic bottles. Almost all of them accept PET, but not all accept HDPE. 

Also, check the rates and other policies set by the state. 

Step 5: Deposit and Get Cash

You can deposit the bottle at the recycling center or other places mentioned in the following section. As a recycler, you help get the cash for your service and help this world become a better place. 

Tips on Where To Find Plastic Bottles for Recycling

Ask Friends and Neighbors

People nowadays need to be made aware of how important It is to recycle plastic. Now that you know how to make money by recycling plastic bottles, it is better to offload your friends and neighbors with this job and earn a few bucks. 

Collect on Your Own

If you consume a lot of drinks sold in plastic bottles, it is better to collect them to get some cash later on. Once you get enough bottles ready to be deposited at the recycling center, pack them up and sell them for cash. 

Provide Empty Bottle Pick-up Service to Restaurants

Most restaurant owners are okay with recycling the plastic bottles used at their restaurants. They will be more than happy to give you the responsibility of handling their plastic bottles. You can sign a contract with them to recycle all the plastic bottles used at the restaurant. 

This method will allow you to make a handsome amount at the end of the month. 

Pick Up Bottles Outside 

Whenever you see a plastic bottle thrown on the side or middle of the park, please pick it up. It will allow you to contribute to the overall cleanliness of the place while making some cash. 

The places with the most plastic bottle usage include festivals, beaches, concerts, sports events, parking lots, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Where To Recycle Plastic Bottles for Cash Near Me

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How Many Plastic Bottles Do I Need To Make $20?

It mostly depends on the pay rate in your state. However, considering the average pay rate for plastic bottles in the US, you will need around 317 bottles to earn $20. 

What Are the 5 Most Profitable Things To Recycle?

The primary purpose of recycling is to reduce environmental pollution. However, contributing to this good cause can also help you earn quick money

The following are the 5 most profitable things to recycle: 

  • Plastic and glass bottles
  • Aluminum cans 
  • Cardboard
  • Scrap metal 
  • Ink cartridges

How Much Is a Plastic Bottle Worth?

Plastic bottles’ worth varies from state to state. Most of them pay around 5 to 10 cents per bottle. 

Check the pay rate before selling your plastic bottles to the nearest redemption center or grocery store.

How Are Plastic Bottles Recycled?

Once you deposit your plastic bottle, it will go through various processes before being used again. 

The first step is separating plastic types (If you haven’t done it already). Once all the different types are lined up in 1 place, the recycler shreds them into flakes. 

These flakes are then melted to convert them into small pellets. Companies buy these pellets from recyclers and use them to produce various products. 

Most items you see in the market, including toys, mats, rugs, and electronic gadgets, are recycled plastics.

Conclusion – Where To Recycle Plastic Bottles for Cash Near Me

Tons of plastic bottles regularly thrown out yearly should not simply end up in landfills. Thus, recycling and buy-back programs addressing this problem at the national and local levels are welcome strategies to protect the environment. Getting cash for plastic recycling efforts is a good incentive that hits 2 birds with 1 stone.

This article could be an initial push for you to research and learn the specific recycling policies, strategies, and locations near you. Collect plastic bottles and start cashing them in while, at the same time, making our environment more livable and sustainable. 

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