If You Can’t Recycle, Sell: Top Sellable Waste Materials

man carrying a recycling bin

The Challenges of Waste Disposal and Recycling

All businesses produce waste, whether it’s in manufacturing, food processing, or even mostly-office-based businesses. And these wastes are oftentimes harmful to the environment and can impact human health, which is why there are many local, national, and international laws on proper waste disposal, as well as incentives on waste recycling. Proper waste of recyclable wastes can be very costly depending on the type of waste material and the amount being disposed, on the other hand, although recycling materials back into manufacturing or operations can be very beneficial, it may not be feasible for some companies as it requires expertise, technology, and resources that the company may not have access to.

Luckily, there is another option when it comes to recyclable waste materials that can still benefit the company while still being able to comply with industry standards and regulations on waste management: SELLING. As such, we’ll be taking a look at common (and not-so-common) waste materials that you can actually sell.

Electronic Waste

Wires, processors, and other electrical components in various products ranging from screens, phones, and electronic appliances are among the most common e-wastes you can see in scrap yards and dumpsites. While some companies have devised ways to recycle these components back into production — either in the manufacturing of goods or using certain components for repairs or making new products. Companies accumulate these wastes through reverse logistics (returning of a product for repair, replacement, or disposal), and can be costly to sort and dispose of. Fortunately, you can easily find companies that purchase e-waste, save up on disposal, and comply with waste management regulations.

Metal Waste

Those in the automotive industry and other industries that use metal in the production of their goods produce a lot of metal waste, ranging from aluminum, iron, copper, brass, and so on. These wastes can be heavy, difficult to handle and transport, thus they are costly to dispose of. But metal, especially non-ferrous metals, are among the easiest to sell and there are many scrap metal merchants out there that would gladly collect and purchase these metal from your location.

scrap materials tied together

Ink Cartridges

Printer ink cartridges are among the most expensive every-day consumable office items in the market and can range from $13-75 per ounce — almost the same cost as a bottle of champagne. Most offices who aren’t aware of their recyclability oftentimes just end up disposing of their used ink cartridges. However, there is an option to sell these used ink cartridges to office supply stores for recycling. These stores oftentimes refurbish the cartridges and refill them with ink for resale. If you buy your ink in bulk from a supplier, try to check if they can provide you a discount for returning them your used ink cartridges on your next purchase. Alternatively, you can request your trusted office supply store to refill empty cartridges instead of buying new ones and save a lot of money.


There are many paper-producing companies as well as waste recycling businesses that utilize recycled paper — not only are they cheaper, but people are more likely to purchase paper made from recycled materials nowadays as it’s more “green”. As such, you may want to consider selling your paper wastes instead of incinerating them. However, it’s important for you to properly shred or redact any confidential paperwork (such as those that contain client information or any trade secrets) prior to selling them for recycling.


These are only a few of many recyclable wastes that you can sell if your company doesn’t have the time or resources to recycle. Regardless of which waste you opt to sell, it’s important to know that, in doing so, you’re saving your company a lot of money through discounts and profit from selling these wastes, and also through avoiding the cost of disposal and the hefty fees that come with non-compliance to waste management regulations.

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