Posted December 20th, 2009 by urecycle

When clearing out the house many of us will find old and unwanted items that have no use, most of these items will be thrown in the bin and end up at landfill. By following this guide not only can you reuse or recycle old household items and do your bit for the environment but also it will help you get some extra money in your pocket.


Everyone has old and unwanted batteries knocking about their homes but what can we do with them once they have no power? By February 2010 it will be law for any retailer selling over 32kg of batteries to provide a free battery collection. Many big shops including Tesco already have these in their stores; more details can be found at Battery Back.

Light bulbs

Most people will throw an old light bulb straight in the bin once it’s run out, but there are more environmentally friendly alternatives. The first is to see if your local council will accept old light bulbs through their recycling program, if they don’t then put old bulbs in a plastic bag to prevent mercury from leaking out and throw them in the bin.

VHS Tapes

With many people using DVDs or digital media most of us don’t even have a VHS player making VHS tapes completely useless. Some local recycling schemes may accept old video tapes; the plastic bit may even be put in your own recycle bin. If recycling is not an option why not donate your old cassettes to your local charity shop who will not doubt be able to sell them on. If you want to reuse them why not give them to the kids to decorate and create some cool gift boxes, you could even give the tape from inside to your local gardener to scare away the birds.

Trophies / Gold / Precious Metals

Yes, it can be hard to get rid of your old awards, jewellery, antiques or other precious metals but with the price of gold soaring now is a great time to sell. Visit one of the many online gold refineries to see how much your items are worth, more details can be found on our Money for Gold page.

Yellow Pages / Phone Books

Yes, these big books are recyclable but they can’t be put in your normal paper recycling bin. You can either contact your local council some may pick up your old directories, if not visit the yellow pages recycling scheme.

Building Rubble and Bricks

Items like this cannot be recycled at your local council recycling centre and cannot be collected. The best thing to do with any unwanted building materials is to sell them as they are always in high demand, you could try either EBay or your local car boot sale.

Computer Monitors / TV’s

Many local recycling centres will accept old TVs and computer monitors as well as many other electronic goods. If you can’t recycle them and they are in good working order you could donate them to your local school or community project. For some extra money you could sell unwanted TVs and monitors on auction sites like EBay or advertise in your local paper.

MP3 Players / iPods / Mobile Phones

Find more information on recycling mobile phones or iPod recycling in these sections.

CDs / DVDs / Games

Recycling old CDs, DVDs and Games is becoming very popular online and if you have a lot to sell you could make a lot of money. Music Magpie is the UKs biggest recycling sites for these items. If you want to reuse them yourself CDs make perfect table mats or can be given to gardeners to help scare away the birds.

Printer Cartridges

These will not be collected with your rubbish but are collected at your local recycling centres. Try our inkjet recycling to find out how to get money for your unwanted cartridges.

10 comments so far - add yours!
  1. Maylon Says:

    while I was doing research I found your post is interesting that you comment on recycling spent lightbulbs as we just developed a machine which crushes and smashes light bulbs to tiny fragments. Large office buildings are buying these as they throw away hundreds if not thousands of spent fluorescent light bulbs every year.

    You can watch a video of the machine in operation by clicking here

  2. Chris Says:

    Freegive encourage poeple to recycle their unwanted items for free. Freegive connects people who are giving and getting unwanted items for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills and, at the same time, helping someone in your community by gifting them the item you no longer need. Another benefit of using Freegive is that it encourages poeple to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process. By using Freegive, not only are you able to get rid of your item with the minimum of fuss; you will also be doing your part in stopping another reusable item ending up in a landfill. Best of all, it’s completely free to join. Visit freegive homepage at

    Freegive group is active in all London Boroughs, United Kingdom and other 123 countries across the world.

    Free Give Means Free Stuff, Free Recycling and a Cleaner Environment. Summary: everyone should join!

  3. tyler Says:

    This is an interesting post indeed… I notice the CDs and VHS tape both “scare away the birds”, I’d like to know more about why this is.

    Also, the phonebooks are made of the lowest quality paper, so they just clog up any sorting facility. I’m surprised that cities waste their money even printing these crappy things, you know? i don’t think anyone’s used a phonebook in ages, except to soak it in water and drop it out of their 10th floor apartment window.

  4. British blog Says:

    Good to have finally look at your posting. I sent a reply to your previous article although I didn’t get a reply.Is this specific theme the standard template or have you hand crafted your web blog Thank you.

  5. VCR to DVD Converter Says:

    I’ve loads of memories on VCR tapes which i would love to convert to DVD, just how tricky would it be?

  6. Googie Says:

    Why not try selling your unwanted items through classified ads and raise some extra money. This way they get recycled and you earn a little extra money. Give a go.

  7. Says:

    We are a local ads website where people can find items which are being sold in close proximity of them. This is great as other people find them useful and prevents the items going to landfill.

  8. Maydelin Ramos Says:

    I have some VHS movies and a desktop computer that i would like to recyle for money

  9. Maydelin Ramos Says:

    i have some VHS movies and a destop computer that i would like to recyle for money

  10. dominick Says:

    how does recycling for cash works

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