According to a report done by the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) in 2010, out of 250 million tons of trash Americans had produced, paper and paperboard accounted for 29 percent of it, making it the number one waste material in our landfills.
Thankfully, we are doing better.
More of us are learning to recycle, and that’s great news for both the environment and our wallets.
But there are still tons of papers in our landfills that can be recycled. And since there is an abundance of used paper available, its recycling makes a viable business proposal. That is why there are many centers for recycling paper.
But you don’t have to spend millions of dollars building a recycling center to take advantage of this opportunity. You can recycle waste paper that gets generated in your household, and on recycling large volumes of paper you can make a considerable amount of money. All you need to do is to collect large quantities of waste paper and carry them to a recycling center and get paid.
Interested in getting started?
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Here is what you need to know…
What will I learn?
Can You Make Money from Recycling Paper?
Yes and no!
Let me explain…
Recycled paper sells for anything from 50 to 75 dollars per ton, depending on the type of paper. So, for an average household, I don’t think it will be worth it to recycle paper for money, but of course, you can still do it for the sake of the environment.
In another word, you have to do this on a grand scale to make real money, unlike recycling wood pallets for money that you can get $1-$4 per pallet, which makes it profitable to recycle them for almost anyone.
I know there are a lot of blog posts and eBooks that tell you you can make a lot of money with recycling paper, but for most of us, it’s just not possible. I mean, gathering one ton of paper takes a lot of time and space. So, the only way to really make this a viable source of income is to do it on a large scale. And to do that, you need all the help you can get.
Here are a few steps you can take in order to make this a profitable business.
1. Find Recycling Centers
First, you have to locate a recycling center and find out the price they pay for different types of paper waste.
There are a few different ways to find a local paper recycling center. The two that I use are:
- Phone Books: You may refer to your phone book to know the places having recycling arrangements that are closer to your place.
- Earth911.com: You’ll know how paper is recycled and also the location of recycling centers. You are also informed how it helps protecting the environments and prevents pollution.
Collection of paper in any form, from newspaper to boxes, not only rewards you financially, but also helps you make your own contribution to save the environments.
You may even collect old, used paper from your neighbors. Why not send them fliers suggesting them to dump their used paper at a conveniently located bin.
You may even consider calling upon them on pre-appointed dates and time and collect all the paper they may have collected. In fact, they’ll be happy to get rid of that. This will be particularly helpful for localities that lack recycling facilities.
It will be a smart idea to check with local businesses if you can call upon them to collect their waste paper every week.
You can expect to gather large volumes of cardboard boxes from local grocery and retail stores. Just talk to them and they may give you some more options for collecting such stuff.
You can keep gathering paper in all forms from newspapers and scrap paper to phone books and cardboard boxes, before taking the same to the nearest recycling center to collect your cash.
Also, don’t forget about shredded paper. Many local businesses and offices will have tons of shredded paper that they will happily give to anyone who’ll pick them up, for free. Although, you should talk to the people at recycling centers near you to make sure they do accept shredded papers as recycling shredded paper is a little different, so many places may not want to deal with it.
3. Sort Out
Having collected a large quantity of paper, it is time to sort out your collection as per the type of paper.
You’ll need a large space like a basement or garage for storing your sorted paper.
Naturally, you would look for varieties of paper that fetch you the maximum price.
4. Get Paid
There is no dearth of recycling centers for recycling of paper and making some money on the way. On delivering your consignment of paper to your chosen recycling center you are paid cash.
Again, you can expect anywhere from $50 to $75 per ton.
Other Things You Can Recycle for Cash
Paper isn’t the only thing you can recycle for cash. Most of what we consider “garbage” that we create in our daily lives can indeed be turned into cash. Recycling centers near you pay for a lot of this stuff.
Here are a few resources to get you started in recycling various material:
- Ink Cartridges: 10 Ways to Recycle Ink Cartridges for Cash
- Plastic: How to Make Money Recycling Plastic
- Cans: Recycle Aluminum Cans for Cash
- Tires: How to Recycle Used Tires for Cash
- Glass Bottles: Recycle Glass for Cash
- Scrap Metal: Recycling Scrap Metal for Money
- Computers: 5 Ways to Recycle Computers for Money
- Car Batteries: Recycle Old Car Batteries for Cash
- Refrigerator: Recycle Refrigerator for Cash
The Bottom Line
Of course, paper is recyclable, but do not overlook the fact that it is a very light material. And unlike aluminum which is also light material but can fetch decent money, you will need tons of paper to get a decent return.
Great article. I recently started a recyclables collection service. Dirty work, but it pays if you go 100%.
Yes, I would imagine it’d be a little dirty, but as you mentioned, it pays off if you are committed.
Good luck with your new recyclables collection service business.
Selling cardboard can earn you easily $100,000 a year, however it is hard work and requires considerable amount of lifting. It pays in bulk – meaning you need several truckloads before “cashing -out.” Great information is provided, but make sure you have the equipment to lift, bundle, and carry it to a recycler.
Thanks for the additional tips.
I have tons of paper all same kind and cardboard. what recycler can I take it too?? Same as Scrap Metal?
Exactly what I looking for.
Aaron, how did you get started with your recyclables collection service. I see a lot of metal collection folks before garbage day. But none for cardboard and paper. Appreciate if you can share some information and send it to (removed by editor)
I removed your email address. Spammers scour the web with their bots picking up email addresses shared openly and then they bombard you with spam.
hi can anyone help me out me out i would really appriciate it.
i have been put in charge for a toliet paper factory waste.
we get around 4 tons of waste per 3 days.
the factory is based in bradford west yorkshire, i was wondering if i can get this recycled paper paid for as its being taken for free.
Nikky, check out djbrecycling.co.uk. They operate in South Yorkshire and they say on their website that they do pay for paper. With that amount of paper you have everyday, I am sure they will want to do business with you.
Anyone have an idea how to treat old(deteriorated) money paper?
Not sure what you mean by “treat”?
Àaron please how did you start your recycling business. And can anyone please tell me where to find paper recycling company in Maryland. Please kindly email me the details at (Email removed by Editor). Thank you
Boyle, I removed your email address. Scammers scour the web and find emails displayed openly and scam you with 1000’s of emails.
I did a quick search on Google for “paper recycling companies in Maryland” and found a few (The Shred Mill, LLC and Modern Junk & Salvage Co to name a few). Do a search on Google and you will see their contact info and address.
I would like to start recycling magazines. I know a few businesses that let you take there old magazines. Is there money to be made this way?
Yes, you can make money recycling magazines, but of course, you need volume to make it worthwhile.
Thanks For That Self-employment Insight And I Hope To Start Mine Also In My Country.
Where can I find such recycle centers?? I’m in Miami Florida
If you search on Google I think you’ll find centers near you.
Hi…ur article is really good..But can u help me? I searched and searched on Google but m not able to find a center nearby my location in Pleasanton. All I could find was a center to recycle cans and plastic bottles but for paper I did not find any. Could u please let me know where I can drop off the paper materials to recycle? And get paid for it ?
Which State or country do you live in, Archana?
The link doesn’t show a result near me. I live in Australia. What should I do for that?
Is there any other links that I can have a look at?
Sorry about that, Vanessa.
Unfortaunly, most of these companies only operate in the U.S. That said, you can easily find recycling centers near you by doing a quick Google search. Just search for “recycling centers near me” or “recycling centers in Australia”, etc.
For other readers, wherever you live, just replace “Australia” with your own country/city. Like “recycling centers in UK” or “recycling centers in Canada”.
Hope this helps.