How to make money from waste through circular material trading

Make money from selling waste materials online

End-of-life goods and materials can be transformed from value lost into value gained by selling them for re-use on online material marketplaces. This practice is called circular material trading, and it enables companies to generate new revenue streams and make money out of their waste materials.

“There is real tangible monetary value that comes with operating circularly.

While the conversations around the circular economy typically focus on how it benefits the planet by reducing waste and emissions, it is equally as important for companies to realize that there is real tangible monetary value that comes with operating circularly. Generating monetary value out of what is typically treated as valueless components through circular material trading is an extremely important part of what makes the circular economy economically viable.

How is circular material trading profitable?

Nearly every business, no matter the sector, deals with an input of material resources and an output of material waste. Selling the waste to be reused for new purposes, rather than sending it to a waste facility, creates a new revenue stream for the business.

This is called circular material trading because it takes the linear trajectory of resource to waste that is seen in typical business productions and reroutes it into a circular loop by turning waste back into resource.

monetizing material waste with the circular economy
A circular economy closes the loop between the two ends of a linear economy, allowing for waste material to be used as resources.

How does it work?

Let’s look at how this would work in a (fictional) sample scenario:

Avis Air, like any other airline, accumulates a significant amount of plastic and PET trash left from passengers after each flight, such as water bottles and disposable cups. Rather than selling this to a waste facility for a low price, Avis Air instead lists their bales of PET bottles for sale at a competitive price on an online materials marketplace like

ReWear is a shoe brand that manufactures shoes out of recycled plastic. They, of course, need a supply of recyclable plastic to produce their shoes. The purchasing manager of ReWear searches online for large quantities of PET plastic available for sale. They find Avis Air’s PET bottle offering and react to the listing to start the buying process.

Through this circular trade transaction, Avis Air generates a new revenue stream for their operations and profits off of something that would normally be treated as a liability. Furthermore, as waste material comes as an inevitable result of business as usual, it’s a low-effort-high-reward way for Avis Air to inject money into the business. ReWear also benefits from this transaction, as they are able to get their hands on the supply of secondary plastic that they need.

Where should I sell my used materials?

Online materials marketplaces like make it incredibly easy to turn a profit off of your waste streams. You simply post your waste materials, second-hand machines, and production by-products on the marketplace, where interested buyers around the world respond frequently to the listings.

What are the benefits of making money off of my waste streams?

To sum it up, making money from your waste streams through circular material trading is beneficial in the following ways:

  • You generate a new revenue stream ‘out of nothing,’ through selling what is typically treated as valueless material.
  • You don’t pay for waste removal, instead you get paid for your waste.
  • You can sell your materials at a competitive price, higher than what can typically be charged when selling to a recycling facility.
  • You make no additional investment to get a high profit margin, as waste materials are generated from business as usual.

Looking for a marketplace to sell your waste materials, used machines, or production by-products? Post them on to get the highest international reach.

If you are thinking of selling your waste materials but are unsure of how to make the logistics work for your company, contact us at We will gladly have a no-strings-attached consultation with you and discuss how we may be able to provide you with a solution.

Leave a Reply