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It's America Recycles Day! How to earn cash for your trash

It's America Recycles Day, and experts say there are a number of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and earn money for items you recycle.
The Betterbin app lets you earn points for items you recycle, and then you eventually earn cash back.
Posted at 3:00 AM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 09:29:43-05

ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — It's America Recycles Day, and there are a number of ways to turn your trash into cash by learning what to toss in the trash and what to recycle.

More people are choosing to recycle instead of just throwing everything in one bin.

Brown County Port & Resource Recovery Business Development Manager Mark Walter says it's a trend he loves to see, and he hopes it continues.

"Products are getting lighter, and we can only measure how well we're doing by weight. So, the fact that our weight of recycling is staying about the same means we're actually recycling more, because there are more products going into a ton of material than there used to be," Walter said.

Walter encourages everyone to download and use the Betterbin application and start earning points.

If you scan the bar code of nearly any item, and it will tell you how many points you've earned or will tell you whether it's recyclable.

The best part about the app is that you can cash in on those points after you've accrued them.

"Those points go towards gift cards of various kinds. Some are from non-profits, some are for commercial - Amazon is in the list, Dunkin' Donuts. There are a variety things in there," Walter said.

Walter says you can basically scan any product.

"When I say any product, we've tried it on all sorts of things, but it will tell you whether that product is recyclable in our area, and if it's not recyclable, it will tell you what to do with it," Walter said.

With nearly 35,000 tons of recyclable material passing through the Brown County Resource & Recovery Center every year, Walter says the Betterbin app makes it easier for people to learn what can be recycled.

"And, this one is a tool that we really think resonates with a lot of people, that a lot of people will actually look at and use over and over and over again," Walter said.