Recycle Glass Bottles & Jars for Cash: Get Paid up to 15¢ per Bottle

You can get paid for recycling these empty beer/soda/wine bottlesRecycling aluminum cans for money isn’t the only way to get a little back from things you can’t use.

Did you know that you can recycle glass as well?

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Recycling glass is a cheap and easy way to make money.

You need 3 items to get started:

  1. A bit of time.
  2. Some large recycling containers.
  3. And durable bags to line them with.

What Types of Glass Can Be Recycled?

Unfortunately, because different types of glass are made with different material (which is why different types of glass melt at different temperatures) not all glass can be recycled.

You will want to mainly target food and beverage glasses. Things like Soda, beer, wine and liquor bottles

States That Pay for Glass Bottles Jars

Not every state has these glass recycling programs where they actually pay people for recycling them. Currently, there are only 10 states that have what’s called the Container Deposit Legislation (another name for Bottle Bill).

What’s a CDL you ask?

According to Wikipedia,

Container-deposit legislation (CDL) is any law that requires collection of a monetary deposit on soft-drink, juice, milk, water, alcoholic-beverage, and/or other reusable packaging at the point of sale.

First thing is to make sure your state has what’s called the “Bottle Bill” and will actually pay for any glass you have.

They are:

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Hawaii
  4. Iowa
  5. Maine
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Michigan
  8. New York
  9. Oregon
  10. Vermont

If you look at glass soda and beer bottles, you’ll notice a little sign on the bottom that says something like: ME-VT-CT-MA-NY-OR-IA-5¢ MI-CA 10¢.

That basically tells you the states in which you can get paid for recycling that glass bottle and exactly how much.

What if I don’t live in any of these states?

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Well, you have 2 options:

  1. If you live close to the border (of a state that does have the Bottle Bill program), you can take your glass to a recycling center in that state. Note: please do some research first. Some states have weird laws that prohibits taking recyclable material from one state to another.
  2. Wait for your legislators to make the program available in your state. Many states have active campaigns going on.

Know the Law

If you live in a state with a Container Deposit Legislation, your second move is to carefully read the guidelines for what types of glass your state will and will not accept.

This is easily done by going to

For those not living in the U.S., you can go to this page on to find out whether or not your country and province have the program and where to find recycling centers.

How Much Can You Earn for Recycling Bottles?

Generally, you can expect anywhere between 5¢ and 15¢ per bottle or jar.

The exact number depends ion the state you live in. The best thing you can do is to find and call a few recycling centers near you. This way, you can learn what times you can drop off glass and how much you’ll be paid for it.

Information on recycling centers can be found at

Collecting Sorting Glass

Next, you’ll need to make arrangements of where to actually collect some glass.

Bars and restaurants put out quite a bit, so it may be fruitful to check with them and see if they’d approve of a recycling program.

If they approve, you’ll need to place containers at the locations. Be sure to indicate that the containers are for glass only.

Once or twice a week thereafter, you’ll need to collect the glass. You’ll probably need a large vehicle to do so.

Sort out whatever is broken or will not be accepted. Also, be careful to remove any mirrors, windows and light bulbs. Rinse and gently dry what is to be turned in.

Final Step

Take the glass to the deposit office of your local recycling center.

Though it might not be much, you can be glad that you’ve saved the environment from more pollution. Also, depending on how good you are at collecting glass, this could certainly add up to a nice chunk of change.

Liquor and Wine Rebates

There are other ways to earn a bit of extra dough, such as liquor and wine rebates.

Before purchasing a wine or liquor, check the brand’s web page for what rebates they offer, if any. Assuming they do, you can grab a rebate form from the liquor store and submit it. Just make sure you include everything they need for the rebate, such as the receipt, box label, etc.

After you submit the rebate, then you can recycle the bottle as per usual. Make certain that you’ve sorted any wine bottles into the appropriate category, as they do not usually come clear.

Bottom Line

To be quite frank, recycling, no matter the material, isn’t gonna help you quit your day job by any means. However, it is a responsible, respectable way to help keep the earth (and your pocket) nice and green.

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