Looking at trash and seeing the value within

Industrious people have been turning trash into valued items for as long as trash has existed. In recent years, this practice has taken on altruistic overtones as a way to recycle and clean up the planet while also providing an income opportunity. Some of the most unusual creations transformed from junk to treasure are viewed as holding value in the eye of the creator, if not the public in general.

DIY Saves Money and Taps into Creative Energy

There is nothing much more satisfying than tackling a Do-It-Yourself(DIY) project. For budget-minded consumers seeking to answer that question about how to save money by doing it yourself, there has never been a better time to get started. Furniture, jewelry, home decor, and artwork are obvious possibilities.

In a world where buying is far too easy and expensive, we aren’t accustomed to trying to manage using what we have on hand to make something of value. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of people designing and making treasures out of other people’s trash.

One example of taking broken, discarded items and transforming them into usable, attractive consumer goods can be found in homemade jewelry design. Broken jewelry pieces and underpriced, out-of-style designs can be found at garage sales and online, easily transformed into stylish one-of-a kind designer keepsakes that customers will lineup to purchase.

When you are trying to figure out how to save money by doing it yourself, you need to look no farther than the side of the street. Chairs, tools, desks, sofas and other necessities are all out on the side of the road ready to be picked up by the garbage truck. In many cases, these items can be transformed into lovely pieces fit for any home. It is amazing what a little paint and varnish will do.

Recycling Sources and Ideas to Manufacture Your Own Products

By simply considering environmental problems that plague our oceans and landfills, it is not difficult to imagine some creative ways to repurpose trash that would otherwise be part of the problem. Large corporate leaders and small startups are all jumping on the recycling bandwagon. Nike uses recycled plastic to make uniforms. EcoHelmet offers us another example of recycling success. They design and produce helmets made from recycled paper.

Anyone seeking recycling options needs to only consider wood, paper, plastic or glass as a basis for building a multitude of useful and artistic products worthy of a consumer’s hard-earned dollar. A little market research on Amazon or eBay will turn up an impressive list of products in high-demand that you can consider.

Operating as the Middleman to Buy and Sell Scrap Metals

While scrap metal is not what many people view as a commodity holding value in the eye of the creator, there is money to be made with these raw materials. One of the purest ways to make a buck is to buy and sell scrap metal. When you consider how many items have metal in them, you start to understand the magnitude of the opportunity.

Common household items where you can find precious metals are air conditioners, pressure cookers, dishwashers, freezers, pipe fittings, electrical wires, and washing machines; to name a few. If you look around your house, your attic and basement, you will find something you no longer need that has scrap metal inside.

After you raid your home looking for metal, then it is time to expand your search. In order to establish an ongoing business, you will have to find multiple sources of metal. Apartment complexes, offices, construction sites, and auto repair shops offer excellent opportunities for finding scrap metal. While dumpster diving can yield great finds, be sure you have permission. Some dumpster owners don’t allow people in their dumpsters.

By presorting and cleaning your scrap, you may earn more money. Get details from collection yards about how they want to buy scrap from you. For example, scrap buyers who buy copper may want you to remove the insulating material before handing it over to them. Many buyers also encourage you to remove bolts and nails.

When you are ready to cash in, it is time to find some metal scrap yards to finally make the exchange. Like every other industry, there is an app to help out. For this industry, you want to check out iScrap. This app provides pricing information and locations of scrap yards throughout the U.S. and Canada.


Turning trash into valued items is a way of life for many entrepreneurs. The only limits to this opportunity can be found in your inability to be creative and see the millions of ideas waiting to be molded into gold.