One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Business Opportunity
By Gerri,
Business Pundit, 23 February 2015.

Many people remember making play telephones from two empty soup cans with a string connecting them during childhood. Perhaps it’s this kind of creativity with what was normally garbage served as a business inspiration for some of these later resurrected garbage goods. It’s time to get trashy and check out ten awesome trash to cash money-makers.

1. POGs


POGs were a popular product in the late 80’s and early 90’s that started out as garbage. Once it caught on - like wildfire - POGs quickly became a money-maker and great, cheap advertisement. The humble POG was originally a bottle top for milk and juice bottles in Hawaii, particularly pineapple-orange-guava juice, which is where the name POG comes from. There is no guess as to how many POGs got tossed in the garbage before the game was invented and took off.

2. Clothing From Recycled Plastic


In efforts to reduce waste, and, of course, profit from trash, companies have been making advances in textiles using post consumer plastics, such as drink bottles. While it’s terrific to do something to promote a more green environment, there certainly is some green to be found in selling garbage-to-goods clothing and carpets.

3. Totes and Backpacks from Pouches and Wrappers


One of the green companies cashing in reusing and up-cycling waste items is terracycle. Their goal is to allow as little as possible to go into the landfill. One of the popular designs is drink pouch purses, totes, and backpacks. Of course, they’re also taking things a step further with wearable drink pouches, but obviously there’s scepticism in the comfort factor of clothes made from washed and sewn foil pouches. Nobody likes getting chafed where the Capri Sun doesn’t shine.

4. From Lost and Beached Flip Flops to Sculptures


Ocean Sole, The Flipflop Recycling Company, says it best themselves, “Cleaning Beaches, Creating Masterpieces.” Ocean Sole is a not-for-profit organization which makes them unique compared to others discussed on the list. Although prices are negotiated through inquiry, there’s no doubt that these toys, sculptures, and other masterpieces made from scavenged and salvaged flipflops fetch a high price due to the amount of work involved. The big difference with this company is that the mean green made from being green goes right back into cleaning up the ocean and preserving the marine life.

5. Recycled Tires Turned To Mulch and Sidewalk


Cleaning up the environment is great, but if you can find a way to make some money doing it, even better. As more and more family members got their own cars, more and more tires started to pile up in landfills and junkyards. Then inspiration struck, and new businesses were born like USSA which specializes in recycled rubber products. Mulch made from used tires comes in a variety of colours, and they have developed rubber sidewalks, athletic surfaces, and several other products too. It’s a terrific way to recycle old tires and turn trash into a money-making product line.

6. Pet Products


People with pets know how much they love to spoil their faithful companions. So there’s a huge market for pet products, and there’s no exception as far as the market for recycled garbage made into pet products. There are places like CycleDog that specialize in dog products made from recycled inner tubes. Naturally it doesn’t stop there, there are some toys which are fuzzy skins covering a plastic soda bottle, or pet beds made from other recycled trash. It’s a fantastic way to help the environment and make money from garbage if you have the know how.

7. Ocean Trash into Bottles


Method, who is known for creating some of the more environmentally friendly soaps and cleaners, has taken things a step further. They have produced the first packaging bottle made from recycled plastics fished out of the ocean. Some people may not be incredibly impressed over this feat, but when it’s taken into consideration just how much plastic ends up in our oceans per year, this effort to take trash and make it into a viable product is fabulous. Cleaner oceans and a cleaner house, thanks Method!

8. Fishnets Turned to Skateboard Decks


The guys at Bureo Skateboards started a project that would help clean up and keep clean the fishing nets that pollute our oceans. They gather the garbage nets, and process them into skateboard decks which they sell. Granted they are going through a lot of steps to turn this trash into cash, but it really does help the environment. Soon the world will be cruising along on the minnow skateboards while less nets pollute our waters - talk about a win-win situation.

9. Jewellery


Another trendy thing to do with garbage is make jewellery and sell it. While you may not find this jewellery in a high dollar store alongside diamonds and emeralds, there are places on the internet that specialize in jewellery made from garbage. And…it’s becoming more and more commonly found as smart and crafty people cash in on the green movement.

10. Computer Parts as Clocks and Art


Technology changes so fast, it’s no wonder that we find ourselves with a lot of useless circuit boards and hard drives hanging about. With a little ingenuity and maybe a part or two from other tossed items, some neat looking clocks have appeared for sale online. Of course other artists have also found new uses for old computer parts like a huge global map and an intricately patterned rug. With the steampunk trends, no doubt we’ll see even more recycled goods coming from computers and technology.

Top image credit: Amarand Agasi/Flickr.

[Source: Business Pundit. Edited.]

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