Ten Ways You Can Make Money From Garbage


Garbage is gross; I mean, it’s really usually just gross. Of course, my definition of garbage and yours might differ dramatically. In fact, I know it does. My definition of garbage is anything that I do not use anymore and anything that is no longer productive to my life; as well as empty wine bottles, dirty diapers and all things that are not eaten immediately during dinner. Leftovers freak me out. One of my husband’s biggest complaints about me (yes, he complains; I do have flaws) is that I throw everything away. If I don’t like it anymore, need it anymore or want it anymore, I throw it away. It’s wasteful, I know. I really know. But as someone with four kids, a full-time work-from-home job and a house, a life and a husband, I don’t have time in my day to go through and sort things out and drop them off places and blah, blah, blah. I have time to throw them away. But they do say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that’s very true. Most people can make a good deal of money from their garbage. If you’re like me and looking to reform your throw it away mentality, perhaps you’d like to know that you can make money with the things you might ordinarily toss in the trash; maybe I’ll even pay attention to this (probably not, but you never know).

Old Food

Did you know that you can make money from your old, gross food? It can be turned into compost and used to feed your garden or grow more food. It’s a great way to utilize what you have and turn it into money. While it might not turn into actual money, it can help your garden thrive; saving you money at the store on things you can grow at home.


You have things you can recycle and turn into cash. Do you know about copper recycling? Did you know that people pay for cans and bottles and things of that nature? Well, they do. It’s not a lot, but it doesn’t really have to be for some people to find that this is worth it in their book.


How is giving something away going to make you any money? Well, donations are tax deductible. You can donate all your old clothing, shoes, toys, furniture, cars and pretty much anything else in good condition and get a donation receipt. This receipt will allow you to deduct the amount on it when you file your taxes, which lower your tax liability and puts more money in your pocket.


It’s pretty common sense; you sell things you no longer want. You can sell junk car, furniture, games, toys, clothes and just about anything else. On eBay or Craigslist, people will buy just about anything. All you have to do is put a price tag on it and someone will likely come for it.


Trading does not earn money, per say, but it kind of can. If you trade things you no longer want and were just going to trash, you can get things you do want and can use. This means you won’t have to spend money buying these things. You can also trade for things that you might not want but that you know others will pay for. Then you can make a profit off of someone else’s stuff.

Crafty Projects You can Sell

Do you drink a lot of wine or have curtains or fabric you no longer want? Get crafty with it and make things. The more creative you are, the more you can make. You can sell things at local fairs and craft shows, online or in person. If you have wine corks from those bottles you’ve been drinking over the years, make peg boards or wine cork initials out of them and then sell them to your friends, family and strangers on the internet.

Electronic Sales

Old phones, computers and other electronics are big when it comes to resale. You might not have any use for that old iPhone 4, but someone else might want one for their kids or even to use to work their Netflix at home. You can sell these items, or you can take them to electronic stores that purchase old electronics and use them for their own purpose.


If you have things that can be sold, like nice high-end items, you can consign them. This might work if you have designer handbags, clothing or shoes. It might also work if you have things like furniture that you want to sell but don’t know how to sell. You consign them and get a portion of the profit when the items finally sell from the shop you choose.


Old dressers can be turned into bars or desks or tables. Old bed frames can be turned into doll houses (well, on Pinterest they can be). There are so many things you can do to refurbish or upcycle products you might have chosen to throw away on a regular basis. Furniture is especially good for things like this. You might not want something like this but if you can make it, someone else might actually want it. So it’s a good consideration if you have some old trash or find some old trash that looks as if it could be remade into something more productive (read; profitable).

Dumpster Diving

This is not something I would personally ever do, but the internet is filled with blogs and stories of people who make a complete living doing this. It probably doesn’t even have to mean going through people’s trash so much as it means picking up large items from the end of their driveway that they’re throwing in the trash. You can pick up free couches and other things from the side of the road and make a huge profit selling them, donating them or refurbishing them if you really want to. It’s a job that’s not exactly for everyone, but it is for some.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images


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