You can start a small glass recycling business right out of your garage or in your backyard if you have access to a pickup truck or car and trailer. Glass is one of the most lucrative and easy to find items to recycle. Recycling centers will pay you for the glass you bring in to them. It’s possible to make a full-time living from recycling.

Things You Will Need
  • Business license

  • Pickup truck or a car with hitch and trailer

  • Business cards

  • Car sign

  • Cell phone

  • Garage or yard space for storage

  • Gloves

  • Weight belt

Obtain your business license from the local government office that issues business licenses in your area.

Purchase, lease or borrow a pickup truck or a trailer and hitch for your car. Make sure to learn about specific permits for running a glass recycling business.

Hire a printer to print your business cards and magnetic car signs. Be sure to include your name, phone number and that you recycle glass.

Collect glass bottles by knocking on doors in your neighborhood. You can also accept any glass people are willing to give you. Also visit local bars and restaurants.

Store the glass in your garage or back yard. Once you have several tons of glass, take it to a recycling center where it will be weighed and you will be paid per ton.

Revisit the same homes and companies every two weeks. Eventually people will have glass set aside for you in anticipation of your visit.

Expand your business by contacting schools and groups like the Girl Scouts. You can offer to pay them to bring you glass to help raise funds for supplies they need. Split the profits 50/50 with the school or group.


You can offer to pay people for their glass, but it’s probably not necessary. Most people are glad for you to take it away. As you grow and establish your route, hire people to collect for you in your neighborhood and pay them a fair wage. As you expand, you may need to rent a storage facility or warehouse where people can bring glass to you and you can meet your storage needs.


Take care to glass using your knees not your back and consider purchasing a back brace or weight belt for extra support. Advise your helpers of the same.