How Do You Start Recycling Cans and Bottles?

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To start recycling cans and bottles, begin collecting used containers and separating them by materials, such as aluminum, plastic and glass, and check the containers for any recycling information. As you separate, rinse the containers out to avoid bugs or sticky messes. Research recycling centers in your region and state to determine the best places to take the containers. Be prepared to take different materials to different facilities.

Recycling aluminum cans comes with a small return per pound. Rates vary per state or center. Contact local recycling centers to determine a price and whether the center has an existing promotion, coupon or returning customer bonus program. Some states pay for other recycled materials, but many do not, so research your state's policies and restrictions.

Some states have "bottle bills" in which a person pays a deposit amount when they purchase the container. Once they empty the container, they can return it to a retail store or a redemption center and reclaim the deposit amount. Some of these states keep unclaimed deposits to use toward other recycling programs or costs. The other states allow retailers or distributors to keep the deposit. It is illegal to transport bottles from one state to another for cash returns.