The first money I ever earned was through recycling. Our cans and bottles would go directly to a separate large trash can, and every few weeks I would rinse out the cans, and crush them down to size. I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and crushing involved no small feat of stomping. The cans would go back into plastic bags and in the back of my dad's truck. He would drive me over to the recycling center, probably spending more in gas than the couple of bucks that I would earn. But whatever amount the cans yielded would be all mine.
Today, in California, we have something called CRV, or California Redemption Value. You pay a small amount on every single plastic or glass bottle and can that you buy at grocery stores, liquor stores or warehouse stores. Most Californians do not even know how much they are paying in CRV, and just assume it is part of the cost of buying their beer, wine or coke. Actually, it is not a cost at all, but a deposit. The hope is that you will return the container to a recycling center and get your money back.
Currently CRV is $0.04 per can. It's not a lot of money, but it all adds up right? Besides, you don't really have to rinse and crush every can like I did when I was a kid. I think my parents made me do that so I would feel like I am actually doing something to earn my money. Besides, it's good for the environment.
Here are the top ten reasons that you should recycle cans, according to aluminum.org.
10. Because you "can."
9. You can earn cash for cans.
8. Recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than making new aluminum. The energy saved can power a TV for three hours!
7. You can help the environment one can at a time.
6. Aluminum is the most recycled beverage container.
5. Once an aluminum can is recycled, it can be part of a new can within 60 days.
4. There is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled.
3. We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
2. The recycling industry employs tens of thousands of people.
1. ... and the #1 reason to recycle aluminum ...Money from aluminum can recycling goes toward building more Habitat for Humanity homes!
So, do I recycle? Admittedly, I have not in more than a few years. But, my Fiancee's brother began recycling at the beginning of this year, and has earned $75 so far. He is planning on using this money to help cover the cost of some part of his wedding (like the invitations or something). So, I've been inspired to start doing so as well.
I'll let you know how it goes.