Convert trash and driftwood to coal, cloth, and more in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley isn’t just about planting crops or raising animals; it’s about efficiently managing your resources. Among the variety of machines available in the game, the Recycling Machine often gets overlooked. In this guide, we’ll delve into a detailed strategy for setting up and using Recycling Machines to convert trash and driftwood into essential resources like coal and cloth.

Recycling Machines

The Steps to Optimizing Recycling Machines

Step 1: Finding the Right Location for Coal

Start by Placing 10 Recycling Machines: Divide them into five pairs, each separated by four empty spaces.

Timing is Crucial: All trash should be inserted into the machines simultaneously. The ideal time to start placing the trash is as soon as the in-game clock ticks over (e.g., 7:20 am).

Wait for Results: Once all the machines have finished processing, find a pair where the machine on the right didn’t produce coal, but the one on the left did.

Final Arrangement: Leave the left machine that produced coal and remove the others. Place additional Recycling Machines next to it, leaving one empty space between each.

Step 2: Pinpointing the Triple-Coal Machine

  1. Insert Trash at the Same Time: The following day, insert trash into the newly configured Recycling Machines at the exact same time as the day before.
  2. Examine Outputs: Look for the machine that produces three coal.
  3. Re-arrange: Remove all other machines and arrange them diagonally from the triple-coal machine.

Step 3: Accurate Positioning for Max Output

  1. Place Trash Again: On the third day, place trash in the machines at the same time, aiming to completely fill all 10 machines.
  2. Adjust According to Output: If some machines produce fewer resources, replace them with the ones that produced more.
  3. Final Shift: Move all the Recycling Machines up by one square.
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Step 4: Consistency and Verification

  1. Testing: Test the setup by inserting trash at your chosen time (e.g., 7:20 am).
  2. Observe Output: You should be able to obtain 29 pieces of coal from 10 pieces of trash.
  3. Adjust as Needed: If a machine produces a stone instead of coal, replace it with another machine.

Synergy with Crab Pots

Utilizing Crab Pots significantly boosts your trash collection rate. With a 38% chance to collect trash, 100 Crab Pots can yield around 38 pieces of trash per day. This is ideal for keeping your Recycling Machines busy.

An array of Crab Pots

Additional Sequences for More Trash

If you have more trash, consider setting up additional sequences of Recycling Machines. You can either:

  1. Create another sequence: Duplicate your initial setup at a different location.
  2. Stagger the time: If the first sequence begins at 7:20 am, start the second sequence at 7:40 am.

Profit Analysis

Operating 100 Crab Pots and 20+ Recycling Machines requires about three hours of in-game time per day. However, the profit potential is immense:

  • Cash: 7,202g from selling refined products like cloth.
  • Coal: 45.6 pieces of coal, ideal for crafting bee houses or preserving jars.
  • Refined Quartz: An added bonus of 15.2 pieces per day.


In summary, the Recycling Machine in Stardew Valley is an underappreciated asset. It might not seem like much, but when used strategically, it can generate significant resources and profits. So, don’t underestimate the power of recycling in Stardew Valley; it’s one more way to turn your farm into a thriving, efficient enterprise.

Feel free to try these techniques yourself and experience the optimized gameplay that efficient recycling can bring to your Stardew Valley life!

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