How to Make Money from Recycling in South Africa

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South Africa is a world of opportunities if you’re looking to get rich. It’s also trying to be more environmentally friendly as the earth struggles with the negative impacts of climate change and pollution. Recycling more is a step in the right direction because it helps protect the environment. And it’s not just good for the earth. Recycling also has financial incentives, so it’s a good habit if you’re looking to make a few bucks too. Many African countries now have programs that pay people to recycle more. Today’s post looks at what those are and shows you how to make money from recycling in South Africa.

5 Great Ways to Make Money Recycling in South Africa

We’re done the research to find the top 5 easy methods you can make money while recycling in South Africa.

Collecting Bottles & Cans

Finding old used bottles and cans is an easy way to make a few bucks. Any fan of Seinfeld will already about the process, but it’s pretty simple. You go around collecting used containers to take to the local bottle deposit center. Then, you get paid a small refund, usually between $0.05 – $0.10 for each item returned. Most people throw away their cans and bottles after use, so there’s a huge source of cash out there just waiting to be found. It’s like hunting for treasure!

Items to Deposit: glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum cans

Selling Materials for Scrap

 How to Make Money from Recycling in South Africa

Consumer goods often contain precious materials which manufacturers and builders need for building and producing new goods. Old junk might not be worth anything to you anymore, but they’re likely still valuable to someone. South African scrap yards will pay you for recycling all sorts of old belongings. Appliances, batteries, car parts, and various metals are some of the most valuable items to sell.

High Value Items: copper, batteries, electronics, car parts, appliances, scrap metal

Fixing Broken Items to Resell

Why not fix it up first to sell it for more money? Put your handyman skills to use refurbishing worn out items, then sell them for a better return. It takes a little more work, but you’ll make more money than you would at the scrapyard. This also gives you the chance to discover priceless antiques. You might not think something is valuable, but collectors may be willing to pay a fortune for it. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say.

Easy Items to Repair: electronics, furniture, clothing

Selling Old Used Property

This goes along with the last one. People are often too lazy to try selling their old stuff before throwing it out. Or sometimes they just don’t think anyone would want to buy it. But some of that garbage can fetch a good price. Put an ad on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist to see if anyone’s interested. Hold a garage sale if you’ve got lots of stuff to get rid of. People love checking out garage and yard sales, so you’re sure to attract customers.

Where to Sell: online platforms (e.g. eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, etc.), garage sales, yard sales

 How to Make Money from Recycling in South Africa

Offering Collection Services

Recycling isn’t an option for everyone in South Africa. Many people want to recycle more, but they live in remote areas where it’s not available. That gives you an opportunity to make money collecting recycled material from them in exchange for a small fee. You’ll need a decent vehicle with ample room to maximize your return. And you’ll need to factor in commuting expenses, like fuel costs. But you get to work independently and don’t face much competition.

Additional Expenses Involved: price of gasoline, storage space, vehicle maintenance costs


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