One of the easiest (and best) ways of making
extra money is by collecting old newspapers and selling them
to a "recycling plant" in your area.
Just look around your own home - in the garage or the basement.
What do you do with the old newspapers after you've read them?
Most likely they just pile up in a corner of the garage or
basement until one of your kids asks if he can haul them off
for the school or cub scout paper drive. Or maybe your wife
and kids get ambitious some week end, clean out the garage
and haul all those newspapers off to the collection truck
at the local
It's true that selling stacks of newspapers you've accumulated
during the past couple of months or so won't make you rich,
or really amount to much extra income. But think about the
stacks of old newspapers you would have if you were to collect
and haul away for the people in your neighborhood - say a
ten-pound stack of newspapers from each house on your street
every Saturday. The picture changes, doesn't it?
If you're serious, and get yourself properly organized,
you can easily make $300 or more every weekend.
Right now the going rate for old newspapers is about $50
a ton, depending upon your area. Most recycling depots prefer
the papers loose, rather than bundled or sacked. Check with
the recycling plant you plan to sell to before delivery to
them. Cardboard - ordinary cardboard boxes that have been
flattened - is bringing approximately $75 a ton. If you're
going to collect old newspapers, you may just as well take
cardboard too. Most people have old boxes around that are
just taking up space, and some will even pay you to get rid
You start by clearing a space in your garage for storage.
One side of a two-car garage, or just an 8 by 12 foot space
would be sufficient. If you have a garden shed that is dry,
that would work well also. Some collectors even rent space
in a neighborhood mini-warehouse.
Next, you should place an ad in your community newspaper
or the weekly shopping news, something like this: Junk, old
newspapers and cardboard boxes hauled away. Phone 123-4567.
Then you visit your neighbors. Tell them you are collecting
hauling away all the old newspapers and boxes in he neighborhood
each week. You might even offer them $5 a month if they'll
have everything ready for you when you make your weekend collection
On Saturdays, starting at about 9:00 a.m., rent an open
trailer and hitch it to your car. If you have a pick-up truck,
so much the better. With your wife and kids, a couple of neighbor
boys, or perhaps a couple of teenage "huskies" you've
hired through your local high school, start making your rounds.
You drive the car with the trailer. Your helpers, one on each
side of the side, knock on each door and ask the residents
have any old newspapers or cardboard boxes you can haul away
It would be advantageous for you to have a large sign on
each side of your trailer, and on each side of the car as
well. It might read: Paper Collection Service.
Visit the people you've talked to on your block first. That
will give you some paper in the trailer and from there, you
just expand. Go to the next block and the next, driving up
and down the streets, visiting, stopping at all the homes,
in an ever expanding ripple from your own street.
When your trailer is full of old newspapers, you can either
take them directly to your recycling plant and sell the load,
or take them to your storage area, unload them, and get everything
organized. It's very important, though, that you get right
back to the job of knocking on doors and collecting more newspapers
Some people will (foolishly) collect a load, take it in
for sale, and then waste time gloating over the easy money
they've just made. One load won't make you rich or even really
pay for your time. Get right back on the job and collect as
many loads as the daylight hours will allow.
Make the same rounds; follow the same collection routes,
at least once every two weeks. Once you've hot the routine
working well, you'll be ready to hire a couple of high school
or college students to help, perhaps with another car and
The best way to pay your help is with a percentage of the
tonnage you sell. And then too, once you have it all together,
you'll want to go with a truck or trailer that allows you
to haul a couple of tons of paper per load.
It's important that you make regular rounds, calling on
the same houses regularly. After about six months of this,
you'll be ready to open a local recycling depot.
This simply means taking the accumulation of paper out of
your home or garden shed and moving it to a business location.
Because of your advertising in the newspapers, and the sign
on your truck or trailer, people will be calling you during
the week to come and pick up paper they have ready for you.
Also, your neighbors will very likely be dropping by with
armloads of paper for you from time to time, as well. Specifically,
these are the reasons you'll need storage space to store the
paper in your garage or other storage area until you have
enough to load up and take to the recycling plant.
One of the best locations for your recycling depot is an
abandoned or closed down service station. Or perhaps a vacant
lot, or even a corner of a large shopping center parking area.
You'll need a scale (you can rent or lease one of these for
a small amount), and a quick set-up tent or large truck. What
you want to do is establish a location where people can come
to you. They bring their newspapers, you weigh what they've
brought and pay them a penny a pound for newspapers and two
cents a pound for cardboard boxes. You can hire someone to
man this center for you during the day, or perhaps only open
between 4 and 6 o'clock in the after-noons. Advertise your
hours, and be dependable, so that people can count on you.
To establish your location, you'll have to check with the
owner or management, and agree not to interfere with their
regular mode of business. If you do go to a shopping center
parking lot, sell them on the idea that your recycling depot
- clean and neat - will actually bring more people into the
shopping center on a regular basis. The important thing always
is to establish yourself in the best possible location for
the least amount of money from your pocket.
Even though you have a collection depot, you'll still want
to continue your week end collection rounds. But with a collection
depot, you can hire other people to do the driving, knock
on doors, make the collections and transfer their loads into
the depot facility. If it's a big truck or trailer, you'll
be selling ten to fifteen tons of paper when ever you make
your trips to the recycling plant.
Another important thing you should think about doing is
getting the whole community involved with you. Get them to
thinking about recycling paper and selling it to you. Run
some promotions; work for free publicity; and be conspicuous.
Don't be embarrassed; everyone is aware of the need for recycling
everything that can be recycled. And you'll be admired as
someone with the ambition to make it happen.