How to Recycle Plastic for Cash in Texas


  • Buy beverages and milk that are in containers that have the triangle recycle symbol on it. The number of the plastic container will be inside the triangle.

    Only use whole plastic containers when recycling for cash, not portions or parts of torn or damaged containers.


  • Wash the plastic containers prior to taking them to the recycling facility so that all of your containers will be accepted for an exchange of cash.

    Don’t mix paper, tin or glass with the plastic containers, but keep each type of item in separate recycle containers.

Most plastics are recyclable and you can earn money by taking your plastics to a recycling facility. Plastic bottles end up in a landfill pit, and buried under dirt and clay. According to the City of Houston and Keep Houston Beautiful, about 15 percent of disposable waste is incinerated. Recycling programs alleviate the constant search for additional landfills. Texas sub-divisions and rural areas may have freestanding recycle bins available. Many neighborhoods that have a minimum of 127 homes have a recyclables collection day. Local schools have large plastic bins to place recyclables. The hard plastic bins are usually blue or green and have the recycle symbol on the sides of the container. Even if you do have one of these containers that is emptied into a common recyclables truck, you can still take your plastics to a recycling facility that pays you cash for each container.

How to Recycle Plastic for Cash in Texas

Call your local 211 information line to get the address of the closest recycling facility in your neighborhood that may provide recycle bins that you could have free of charge to avoid the expense of a new recycling bin. Use a freestanding large plastic bin on wheels that will hold all of your plastic recyclables for transport.

Phone the recycling company list for the ones that are paying cash for your plastic bottles and containers. Independent recycling is different from curbside service in neighborhoods, where the recycling is voluntary and not paid. The going price for each bottle is usually five cents, as of November 2010.

Look at the bottom of your plastic bottles for the recycle symbol and a number from 1 to 5 and 7 only. The most popular plastic containers are the water bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, juice containers, yogurt containers, shampoo, liquid soap and detergent bottles. Rinse out the containers and dry them before placing them into the recycle bin.

Separate the plastic bottles by number and write down the number of bottles you have for recycling. Some recycling companies only accept certain numbers of plastic containers. The most prevalent plastic recyclable containers are labeled as: 1.) water bottles, small juice bottles; 2.) plastic juice jugs and 7.) gallon milk containers. The recycling company will tell you if you should put the plastic bottle caps on the bottles or if the caps should be in a separate container or not at all.