Everyone living in the right states knows about deposit bottles and many people have probably seen people collecting them. In my area, I’m right on the line with the barrio, some nights there can be more than one guy with a shopping per block. It’s dirty and those out there doing it must find it a shameful thing. Most wait until the cover of night to do it.
If you’re going through cases of water or soda, it’s probably a good thing to rinse your containers out and put them on the side. For every 20 you bring back, you’ll get a dollar. Those Mexicans don’t get your dollar either.
Returning your own deposit bottles is just getting your money back.
If you have and own a Pickup, SUV or Hatchback, you can actually make some money picking up stuff like washing machines. This morning I picked up a washing machine and a microwave without driving a quarter mile. If they’re 200lbs, they’re worth $8. With that and tooling around my neighborhood very close to my house, I picked up another $18 worth of the same kind of junk steel on Thursday.
So, without trying last week, I made $26 dollars. A few years ago, when the economy was coming out of The Great Recession, prices for junk steel was double. The prices for all other scrap metal was more too.
If you start getting down on this get down, aluminum is another thing that people will be putting out soon. You should see a lot of lawn chairs etc. Aluminum is worth 35 cents/lb here.
Copper and brass are the most rare of the street metals. Copper is worth about $1.80/lb right now and brass $1.20/lb. Air Conditioners are good too. Small modern ones can just be turned in for like $5. You might want to take apart the big ones which involves cutting the Freon line and creating a big Freon cloud. An A/C that is 100lbs is worth way more than $5 though.
Motors, lead and car and marine batteries are all worth money too.
This is obviously not for everybody and if you live with your parents, I doubt they’d want you setting up a workshop and storing metal… for however long.
Back when the prices were good and I was more interested in this, it wasn’t hard to make $3500 or more for the season. I could pay my car insurance and have $1500 to play with.