If you want to know how to get paid to pick up litter, this article will clear things up for you.

It will reveal exactly how making money picking up trash or litter works, how you can get involved and some of the best ways to make money doing this.


Can You Really Get Paid to Pick up Litter?

Of course you can.

But first…

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I will tell you that you are not the first person looking to get paid to pick up litter. In fact, thousands of people have been doing it since 1981.

There is a brief history behind getting paid to pick up litter and cleaning the environment.

It started as a side-hustle, but now it is a full-blown hustle that can be done full-time, and it pays about 650 thousand dollars per year.

Now to the talk of the day, how can you get paid to pick up litter?

We always provide answers to your questions, and this time won’t be an exception.

You can work on several part-time jobs and get paid to pick up litter; other options pay you too.

We must have all heard of the famous saying that goes, ” one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

In this case, it is different; it will be one man’s trash is another man’s diamond.

You can literally turn trash into treasure, and this will take nothing at all from you, aside from your time and probably your devotion and commitment if you wish to make a lot of money from picking trash.


4 Best Ways of Making Money Picking up Trash Jobs

There are a lot of opportunities that pay you massively for picking up litter.

Some individuals have testified to earn up to 6 figures every year from collecting trash, litter, and junk.

We have reviewed all of them, and below is a list of the most effective and best ways to make money from picking trash.

  1. Cleaning parking lots.
  2. Recycling aluminum cans and other junk.
  3. Collecting and selling trash and junk.
  4. Recycling scrap items.

Now the list may seem short, but each of them pays you so well that some people no longer believe it to be a side hustle; instead, they call it a full-time job.

Here is a detailed breakdown of each item in the above list and what each of them offers and entails.


1. Cleaning Parking Lots

If you have a knack for or know the importance of entrepreneurship, you might want to consider how you can pick up litter and trash to make money.

The first method is right before you. Go to the parking lots and clean them up.

Yes, it is that simple, but that is not the entire process.

You can go to local businesses or companies around you like your local store or the park and ask them you’d like to work for them by picking up the trash in their parking lot – surely not for free.

After a series of agreements and signing papers, if there are any involved, you might be employed on point.

All you have to do is go to their parking lot, pick up the litter, clear all debris, and make sure it is neat as new.

Now I’m sure what’s going through your mind is how much you can make from doing such a job.

I’ll use a friend of mine as a case study.

Brian has been cleaning and clearing parking lots of litter and trash for over the past three years, and he is yet to quit this so-called side hustle.

Guess why?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Cleaning up parking lots paid Brian more than his main job did. Brian earned up to $100,000 every year by just cleaning parking lots.

Are you still contemplating? Or you are on your way to buy your broom and pan and other gears you might need.

If you think you don’t have the facilities for this job, you are most likely wrong.

Brian didn’t have a dump truck or a dumpster. He didn’t have any fancy equipment or gear, just a broom, a dustpan, and a waste bin.

You can include some of the essential gears you feel you might need.

But I tell you categorically that you won’t spend up to $100 to purchase the items you will need.

An advantage of this opportunity is that it can be a side hustle or a full-time job.

However, whatever your decision is on how you take up the job, we advise you to go to smaller businesses instead of big ones.

The big ones will most likely have an individual or individuals filling that space.

Also See: Hiking Jobs to Get Paid to Hike and even Jobs that Pay You to Workout.


2. Recycling Aluminum Cans and other Junk

This idea is more of black and white, but it is a better option for those not interested in involving local companies and businesses.

How this works is simple and straightforward.

Gather as many aluminum cans as you can – the likes of your soda can, etc. and recycle them for money.

The secret of this idea is to pick up as much litter, or in this case, aluminum, as you can to make your earnings per day worth it.

This idea does not involve any start-up cost, your time is the biggest investment here, so you have to utilize your time to the maximum.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

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You can’t make so much by just picking up cans you see by the roadside or in parks.

There are several ways to gather these aluminum cans that would make your earnings significantly.

We have highlighted some bullet points below that present more options for collecting aluminum cans and trash for recycling and getting paid.

  • The first point is going by your routine and picking up all the cans by the road.
  • Ask your family and friends not to dispose of their aluminum cans. You can give them something like a laundry basket or a big sac to collect the cans.
  • Go to venues of local events around you and ask them to give you their cans after the event.

There are many other ideas aside from the ones above. You, too, can come up with an idea you think will work for you.

However, you must remember that gathering as many cans as you can is the ultimate goal.

Once you feel you have gathered enough can, you can head to the local recycle center near you and sell the cans for cash.

At the time this post was written, a pound of aluminum scrap can is equivalent to 30 cents. You will need about 32 cans to make up a pound.

Therefore, you will have to collect a little over hundred cans to make $1.

The earning doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is a typical side hustle, and combining it with other jobs will earn you something significant.

Also See: How to Get Paid for the Miles You Drive, Get Paid to House Refugees and Get Paid to Stay in Haunted Houses.


3. Collecting and Selling Trash and Junk

There are some items we classify as junk; you must have come across them several times.

How you can identify such items when you see them lying around your neighborhood with a signpost in front of it reading “Free.”

Most times, these items are not always in bad condition, just a few faults within.

They should not be given out for free. The fault common to these items are just minor rips and tears and probably was left outside before the rain.

Regardless of the condition, so far as it is put out with a free tag on it, it is trash or junk.

In essence, when we say you should collect trash and junk and sell them, we do not ask you to dig up dumpsters looking for them.

Also See: How to Get Paid to Live in Alaska and even Get Paid to Get Your CDL.

Most times, when people dispose of junk and trash or give them away, they are in conditions that could still be worth some dollars.

So, when next you pass by your street or neighborhood, and you find what we classify as junk or trash, go closer to it, examine it, and you might be lucky that item worth a few bucks.

This idea is best for those that have DIY repair tips around their fingers.

If you know how to fix broken items, be it electrical appliances like the refrigerator, washing machine, toaster, microwave or even pressing, or furniture and other items, you should be on the look for them because these items are where your money is.

Also See: How to Make Money on the Road and How to Make Money as an Illustrator.

When picking up the trash and junk you want to sell, make sure they are in the best condition possible to maximize your profit.

And if it is one with few damages or faults, you can fix it yourself if you know how to.

If you can’t fix it, do a quick estimate of how much it will cost to repair it and compare it to the price you want to put it out.

If the former is greater, leave that item, they are others laying around ahead.

You can earn a lot from selling trash and junk.

My neighbor at my former residence in Dallas, Judith, made nearly a thousand dollars within her first month of picking and selling trash.


Get Paid to Pick up Litter


4. Recycling Scrap Items

The last on our list today on how to make money from picking up litter is recycling scrap items.

It is similar to recycling aluminum cans – get the scrap, recycle and sell. But here, it is not exactly that way. It is an entirely different operation.

Generally, any material made of metal is recyclable, but not all of them are worth your time and the activities involved in collecting them as they are not so profitable.

So here, we have made a list of the scrap items you should look out for if you take up this idea to earn extra cash.

  • Electrical appliances.
  • Metal cabinets.
  • Materials that contain copper or that are made from copper.
  • Water heaters.
  • Barbecue stands
  • Junk cars.

Just like aluminum cans, the weight matters here too. So don’t sit at home waiting for these items to come by you or expecting to gather any scrap item in your home.

That will not do! You have to get creative and get working.

Go about, knock on your neighbor’s door, visit your old friends. They might have one or two scrap items in their home they have always wanted to dispose of.

If that is not enough, go to your local contractor, ask for old damaged appliances from work they did in the past. I bet they would be glad to give them out.

Those items eat up a lot of space in their workshops. You can also take advantage of garage sales, but you might have to wait till the end of the sales.

At the end of the sales, you can ask for items that were not from their owners. They would most likely give them out because such items are no longer useful to them.

Now that you have collected enough scrap items, it is time to get your money. Scrap items go for 35 cents per pound if you are selling stainless steel.

As for copper, it can go as high as $2 per pound. It is as good as saying copper is the gold of scrap items. So keep your eyes out for anything from copper.

Also See: How to Start a Doggy Daycare and How to Start a Home Daycare.


Benefits of Doing Picking up Litter Jobs

Unlike many jobs and businesses out there, there are many restrictions, especially in terms of flexibility and freedom.

But if you get paid for picking up litters, you can maneuver these restrictions. Here are some of the benefits of getting paid to pick up litter.

  • It doesn’t disturb your regular job if you have one.
  • You get to dictate your own routine and how you work.
  • No stress of transportation involved.
  • No running out of business.
  • No risk involved.
  • No start-up fund is required.
  • Can be started with low investment.



There are countless ways to make money by picking up trash, even more than what we have discussed in our list.

Most of them don’t involve any start-up fund or investment. Just determination and consistency if you wish to make a lot of money from it.

Also, you must be ready to explore other options and opportunities immediately they arise; you never can tell when your neighbor will come knocking on your door to hire you to clear their yard.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE