A lot of stores and retailers let you recycle unwanted items, but very few will actually reward you for doing so. Could be a coupon for future use, or it could be cold-hard reward points that you can redeem for significant savings. In either case, here are all the stores that’ll give you something simply for bringing in items to be recycled.
Keep an eye out for the recycle box at your local American Eagle Outfitters and score a cool reward. Just drop your old shoes or clothing into the box, they don’t have to be AE branded, and you’ll get a $5 off “text code” to be used on your next pair of AEO jeans. The recycled items are either reused or turned into recycled fiber.
Donate any Apple branded item to the Apple Reuse and Recycle Program and if the product qualifies for “reuse” you’ll get an Apple Store gift card equivalent to the fair market value of the item. To get started, check out this site to see what value your Apple item has. Shipping is completely free as well.
From their website, “The AT&T Trade-in Program lets AT&T customers turn in old wireless phones and tablets to receive an AT&T Promotion Card.” All phones, regardless of condition, will be considered for a trade-in, so you got nothing to lose. They’ll let you mail in your device for free too.
Best Buy has one of the better recycling programs that can definitely help you save money. For example, they’ll give you 10% off a new Samsung HDTV when you bring in and recycle a qualifying TV. They’ll also give you 15% off a HP Inkjet printer when you bring in ANY used printer to a Best Buy store for recycling.
The fashion brand, Eileen Fisher, has an excellent recycle program that’s worth knowing about, especially if you love her clothing. They’ll actually give you a $5 reward card for every article of clothing you recycle with their logo on it. Don’t live near one of their brick & mortar locations? No worries, you can mail your recycled items to one of their 2 recycling centers.
From the L.A. Times, “any customer who donates a bag of clothing (of any brand) at one of H&M’s stores receives a voucher worth 15% off his or her next purchase.” The clothes get sorted and either reused, shredded for insulation, or turned into rags.
While they don’t have a recycle program all the time, keep an eye out for the occasional program at IKEA. They’ve been known to give you rewards for recycling aluminum, glass, and plastic from their stores, restaurants, and vending machines.
Recycle and return your old or empty bottles to any Kiehl’s location and you’ll be rewarded with a free Travel Collection Product (2.5 oz). You must recycle 10 full-sized bottles to get your freebie.
Bring in ANY brand of clothing or footwear to your local Levi’s store, and you’ll get a coupon voucher good for 20% off any future regular-priced purchase. They only stipulation is that the item must be clean (and dry) in order to score you the free coupon.
From the LUSH site, “Bring back 5 empty, clean black LUSH pots to your local shop for recycling and we’ll give you a Fresh Face Mask, FREE!” They’ll then turn around and recycle them and turn them back into usable pots.
MAC has made a strong stand on being environmentally friendly in recent years and this continues with their recycle program. Return six  M·A·C containers to a M·A·C counter or M·A·C Cosmetics online, and you’ll get a free M·A·C lipstick of your choice. Cool deal.
The denim recycle program at Madewell is nothing to scoff at. Bring in your unwanted jeans to your local store and they’ll give you a coupon good for $20 off a new pair of jeans. Doesn’t matter what brand either as they turn the denim into insulation for homes. Fun fact: It takes between 500 and 1,000 pairs of jeans to insulate the average home.
Bring in your old technology to any Microsoft retail store and get it appraised. If it’s deemed to have value, you’ll score a store credit for the value. The cool part is you can bring in ANY brand for appraisal. They’ll accept laptops, tablets, cell phones, digital-audio players, video-game consoles, games, cables and even remote controls. Find a Microsoft store near you.
The North Face
The North Face has a recycle program called “Clothes the Loop” that has been keeping clothes out of landfills for years. All you have to do is drop off ANY clothing or footwear item to any The North Face Retail or Outlet location. The condition of the item doesn’t matter. When you drop something off, they’ll give you a $10 reward to be used on any future $100+ in-store purchase.
Whenever you recycle your old ink or toner cartridges at Office Depot or Office Max, they’ll give you 200 reward points per recycled cartridge. Once you get to 1,000 reward points, you’ll get a certificate which basically entitles you to a $10 gift certificate. Not a bad deal for recycling something you had no use for to being with.
Become a Staples Rewards member for free and you’ll be eligible for $2 in rewards for every empty ink or toner cartridge you bring in. You also need to spend at least $30 on new ink in order to use your $2 reward, which shouldn’t be too difficult given the cost of new ink.
Ask the Reader: Have you discovered any other retailers who’ll reward you for recycling? Let me know and I’ll get them added to this list.
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Kevin Dooley.