1. Recycle food packaging
Did you know that you can sell your food labels and packaging on eBay? Why toss it away when you can make some extra money off of your trash? Check out the "Reward Points/Incentive Program" here. Although not every type of food packaging is applicable, a lot of companies have loyalty programs where their packaging can be redeemed for prizes. For example, General Mill has Boxtops for Education, which sell for about 10 cents per box top on eBay. Lean Cuisine, Campbell's, Purina and Coca-Cola are just some of the brands you can sell for extra cash.
2. Use a recycling kiosk
Some cities have recycling kiosks like Waste Management's Greenopolis. You can recycle glass, plastic and aluminum at these kiosks in exchange for discounts and rewards like reduced prices on Fandango movie tickets, hotels, local restaurants and stores. Although you don't get physical cash for your recycled goods, some of the kiosks print out the cash value on your receipt, which can then be redeemed in the store. Something else to consider — you can also donate your points to charity.
3. Recycle your cell phone
If you're anything like my husband, you have to get a brand-new cell phone practically every year. This means tons of old cell phones just lying around the house. Turn those old cell phones into cash! Cell phone recycling companies will pay you for your old phone and accessories, including shipping and handling! Try out SelliPhoneforCash, PaceButler, or SimplySellular! SelliPhoneforCash was willing to pay me $15 for my ancient iPhone. Although that might not sound like a lot, it's more than I would have made if it had just sat around in the junk drawer.
4. Recycle your random electronics
Similar to cell phones, there are tons of companies that will purchase your old electronics — and pay for shipping and handling! Use ElectronicsforCash to recycle your old GPS devices, laptops, HDTVs, digital cameras, MP3 players and video game systems. I was able to sell my old Playstation for $70 using this site. Another website, MyLaptopBroke, will pay you for your used laptop, even if it's broken.
5. Sell your cardboard boxes
You can recycle those old cardboard boxes cluttering up your garage — and make some extra money! Companies like UsedCardboardBoxes will pay you for your cardboard boxes if you have a large surplus of them (1000 or more). BoxCycle will buy your individual boxes, but only after a buyer has confirmed.
6. Use your favorite store's recycling program
Use the recycling program at your favorite retailer to make some extra cash to spend in their store. For example, Target will give you five cents off for every reusable bag you use during checkout. And with Costco's Electronics Trading Program, you can earn Costco gift cards when you recycle your old electronics (cell phones, cameras, etc.).