Recycling Plastic for Cash in Georgia

Recycling Plastic for Cash in Georgia
Recycling plastic for cash can be a profitable effort in Georgia.

How Much Cash

Georgia recyclers, like those in other states, use different methods in calculating how much to pay for discarded plastic items. The amount paid for plastic can be based on the weight of the loot or the number of items in the loot. There also recycling programs that allow you to earn points to go toward the purchase of items at select retailers. Plastic items do not bring in as much as aluminum cans. What you receive is largely based on market conditions and how much recyclers think they can make from recycling the items. In Georgia, you may get between 3 cents and 5 cents for one water bottle, according to metro Atlanta area recyclers. However, consumers are cautioned that it is impossible to know exactly how much you can receive because it depends on several factors, such as the quality of the plastic, its weight and the recycling center you are selling to.

Plastic Items

In Georgia, plastic items are one of the most popular commodities that are recycled, according to the state's Department of Community Affairs. In Georgia, there are recycling centers that will accept a wide range of plastic items, and many will pay you cash for them. They include milk, juice, water and soft drink bottles. These are the most popular items in the country that are recycled, notes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Almost all plastic items can be recycled; however, the recycling center you go to may have limits, so you must check ahead of time to find out exactly what plastic items it will accept and how much it will pay for them.

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are the least popular of the plastic items to be recycled in Georgia, notes the Georgia Recycling Coalition. Estimates place the number of plastic bags that are recycled at only about 3 percent. There is a lack of sites that recycle plastic bags, and there are even fewer curbside programs that take them. If your center recycles plastic bags, ask whether you can receive cash for them. If it doesn't accept them, many grocery stores will take them as donations.


Before you start bagging your used plastic containers in hopes of getting cash for them, there are some steps you should take. First, clean the containers. Sort them so that they are as organized as possible. For example, separate soda bottles from laundry detergent bottles. Remove the bottle caps and tops if they are not accepted at your center.