Making money without a job

Not everyone has the time or transportation to hold down a job, but money making opportunities still exist

Plato’s Closet Location

Gracie Mena, Rampage Reporter

Center Redemption

Dubuque has a full-service redemption center located behind the Hobby Lobby, across the parking lot from the Floor Show Outlet, called Center Redemption. Here, you can bring in your redeemable beverage containers and exchange them for cash on the spot! They are open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Iowa’s Beverage Containers Control Law states consumers pay a five-cent deposit on all carbonated and alcoholic beverage containers. This deposit can be refunded after returning the bottles to an approved location by the Iowa DNR. In Dubuque County, there are two approved locations for turning in your beverage containers, Center Redemption and the Dyersville Redemption Center. Although, in Dyersville there are 9 other locations you can return your bottles and cans. To find these locations, go to;tabid=838 and scroll down to Dubuque County, just be aware that these locations could be closed and still be on the list.

According to, Center Redemption has some simple guidelines for bringing in your beverage containers. First, Center Redemption does not accept non-nickel cans. They also have a maximum of 500 cans per 24 hours, except when you use their drop off service that you can learn about on their website. When you turn in your bottles and cans, they must be clean, dry, and not crushed (should be general shape of can and can stand upright) to be refunded. Lastly, no glass should be brought in bags, only boxes. Also, cans and glass must be separated.

The process for you will be simple. You bring in your cans and bottles separate, usually in boxes, although cans can be carried in bags through the doors on the left side of the building. Then, you will wait until it is your turn to go up to one of the tables where an employee will be standing. Next to the tables there are huge bags in which they throw the cans as they count them. You will dump your cans onto the table and they will count the viable ones. If some are not viable, they will give them back to you. Once they finish counting, if you have bottles you will again dump them on the table to be counted. After all the numbers are calculated, they will give you a slip with your number of cans/bottles on it and you will take it over to the very right of the building where another employee will give you your money!


Plato’s Closet

Everyone has those clothes at the bottom of our drawers that don’t fit, aren’t our style anymore, or are gifts from family members that are cute, but just aren’t something we would wear that we don’t know what to do with anymore. Thankfully, Plato’s Closet Dubuque on Wacker drive has the solution! You can turn in those clothes for cash on the spot!

Making money on your old clothes is a four-step process according to First, you bring in your gently used brand name clothing and accessories. Next, the employee’s will look through all your items while you can shop in store. After that, they will present you with an offer based on the style, condition, and brand. Lastly, you can accept or deny the offer. If you accept, you can use it as instore credit or take it as cash.

Junior Mia Waid currently works at Plato’s Closet and has worked there for about six months. Part of her job is making offers to customers to buy their clothes. She revealed that when they are sorting through your things and they find something they want to buy, they will put the item into their system and it will generate a price. The computer calculates a price they could sell the item for based off multiple factors, including the 50-70% off retail price Plato’s Closet offers for all their items. Then the customer will get 30-40% of that total. Waid can also give estimates about how long it takes and how much you can earn. She said it usually takes 20 minutes to an hour. Generally, people walk away with $20-$40. Be aware, if you bring in brand new clothes, Plato’s will need to see a receipt to buy it.

Plato’s buys clothing, accessories, footwear, outerwear, and athletic wear. While they tend to focus on styles females prefer, they also have items for males. Examples of brands Plato’s loves are American Eagle, Pink by Victoria Secret, Miss Me, Under Armour, Forever 21, Hollister, Nike, Adidas, Vans, and more. To find specific examples of items in each category and other brands they buy go to

During the month of September, if you bring a valid student ID when you shop, you can get 15% off your order!

To stay up to date on discounts, specific items our Dubuque store is looking for, job openings, and more, follow their Instagram page @platosdubuque.