Reader Question: Recycling/Dumpster Diving

Reader Michele has a question about places to dumpster “recycling diving” for inserts in Morris County/ Northern NJ


I was wondering if you or any of your readers knew of recycling centers in Morris County / Northern NJ that allow “dumpster diving”. I’ve heard of people in other states going to their local recycling center and being able to pick through stacks of newspapers and getting coupon inserts. I wonder if there are any around here that allow it.

Okay, I am not about to dumpster dive, although if any of you do it, then more power to you.  However, I would be willing to visit a recycling center and grab some discarded inserts from there, if it was allowed.  So, do you find inserts through dumpster “recycling diving” in Northern NJ?  Actually anywhere in NJ or the Tri-State area?

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  • Michele

    I would love to know if there is a place in Greater NorthEast Philadelphia.

  • Steph gossett

    I live in budd lake and I know there is a recylcing center in randolph and lafayette. I don’t know if they allow you to go through it though. Good luck

  • sara

    i was wondering the same thing! I just moved to towanda, pa and i dont even know where the place is to stop by and ask about looking in them myself. I really would like to know if anyone would know where i can find that info out that would be great thanks.

  • Sandra D

    I cant help you in jersey but I meet up with my local paper seller on a corner near my house and we make a deal on the papers he has left on sunday at a discounted rate. He sells them on a street corner.

  • Liz V

    I’ll take an insert out of someone’s can if it’s on the curb waiting to be picked up, but scavenging through dumpsters is beyond my couponing comfort level. Curious to see what others think….

    • Dee2

      I used to do the same thing (in Connecticut) when we had small blue boxes for recycling. We had to put our newspapers in paper bags on top of our recycling. It was easy and clean to pick up a couple of extra inserts when I was out walking the dogs. Now we have giant single stream cans and every thing gets tossed in together.

      Thankfully, our public library has a coupon exchange table. Safe and clean!

      • Allison

        where do you live in CT that does a coupon exchange at the library? i would love that, but can’t seem to find anything near me (Norwich).

  • frink

    In my part of NJ, people leave their newspapers out on the street once every two weeks. I have thought about making some quick trips around the neighbors stacks at night but just can’t bring myself to do it! 🙂

    • heather

      That’s what I do 🙂

    • Anonymous

      That is what I we do too, late at night. I drive and hubby hobs out and grabs them. We only take the bags that are set out with only papers in them and if they look clean and nice. Nothing yucky. We get a ton of coupon inserts every time we do it.

    • Jenn

      This is exactly what we do … drive around every other week and we snatch up papers… every now and then we find a TON … but it seems alot of people in our area coupon.. but its worth it. Dont worry about feeling odd, we feel like ninja’s when we do it 🙂

      • Julianna

        roflmao – coupon ninjas!!!

  • Nic

    I know that “communities” typically have recycling centers that you can go and recycle dive at. They are usually right off the main road that goes through the community and almost look like a fenced box with a roof. K. Hovanian communities always have them.. and I’m sure a few others (where people don’t have garbage cans and have to walk to the end of the block to put their garbage in a dumpster (which is also fenced in)… try looking there… Hovanian builds all over NJ – so you should have some luck!

  • Leyna Miller

    Even though I am from Michigan I love this page. If you are not into diving try asking your local library to save them for you, this is what I do.

  • Dana C

    We have co-mingled recycling here so I’m not about to go digging through bottles, cans, glass, etc. to see if there are any newspapers in there. If there was a recycling center that had them the paper all separated that I could go through, I’d do that. But for now, I’ll stick to buying my 4 papers and if I need extra, I don’t mind paying a few dollars from clipping sites.

  • Marina

    In Philadelphia we get the Red Plum in our circulars. I’ve seen a lot of people placing them on the curve and I always feel tempted to pick them up! A good thing is that I can get more inserts (except for P&G) on the Thursdays Philadelphia Daily News for $1.

    • Tricia

      Marina, do you get the Daily News with inserts delivered to your home? And are there inserts in the Sunday edition as well??

      • JenniferC.

        I had no idea there were coupons in the Thursday Daily News! Are they just SmartSource?

  • Liz V

    We get a bagged set of circulars every week in addition to the papers, so I try to get a few extra from the guys giving them out.

  • Anonymous

    We get ours from a local convenience store, depending who is there we either get them free at the end of the night or we pay for one paper and they give us all the rest.

  • Annie

    Local gas stations usually recycle them at the end of the night. If you go at closing or the next day, they have a bin full of them and are more than happy to give it away. I rarely pay for newspapers now

  • Melissa

    I meet up with the paper guy on Monday for leftover inserts and usually “surprise ” him with between $2 and $4 depending on the number of inserts. Its cheaper than buying numerous Sunday papers.

  • Annie

    On this note, I have been dumpster diving almost every evening this week at one of the Big 3 pharmacies, and they are throwing out lots of summer clearance each day! I had asked the mgr what happened to all the clearance, and he told me it was in the dumpster – I was welcome to help myself. So, I have found 3 Sunday coupon inserts (I was thrilled!), 4 kites, giant sand bucket, summer coloring book (my kids were thrilled!), a tiki torch, 5 mens/women’s aqua shoes, and a box of blank writable photo CDs (my hubby was thrilled)! Free fun – and a little something for everyone!


      Wow i was driving trew a rite aid parking lot in the spring and noticed all the easter bunny chocolates in the bin. I always said i should go back and see if they thorw anything good out. It may be worth a drive threw lol.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I think “recycle diving” is terrible. No offense to those who can (and do) do it, but I can’t bring myself to jump into a bin to save money. i have heard of people who will put their children over in them to get inserts. SO DANGEROUS!! Besides the danger factor, paper is a natural insulation and I am not about to fight the rats living in the bin and risk rabies OR WORSE, when I can just order my inserts from a trusted source, they come to me, I don’t even have to leave the house and waste gas money. And sometimes I even get them early!

    • Jessica

      What sites do you use to purchase your inserts? I hate buying the whole paper just for the inserts, seems like such a waste.

      • Anonymous

        depends on where you are….i use Carter’s coupons on FB (out of OH) because you can pre-order. There’s also Krazy Insertz (FL) and, I know there are lots more, but those are the ones I have used. Usually, tho, you need to buy a “pack” of 3 or 4 sets of inserts, but I think Carter’s will let you pre-order just one, she’s a SUPER GREAT lady.

        • Anonymous

          Carter’s coupons and Krazy Insertz have webpages as well, I just found them on facebook first, i’m sure it’s some variation of their names, you can google it. 🙂

        • Tina

          just wanted to know how fast delivery is on carters coupons if i pre order. thanks

          • Anonymous

            Usually it depends on when she gets them in. For example, if she gets them in on , say, Wednesday, she sends them out on Thursday. She ships priority mail so it depends on where you live in relation to Ohio on how fast they get to you. But, she doesn’t always get them in on the same day. The latest I have ever gotten them is the Tuesday after the inserts come out, but it takes two days to get to me from Ohio. There have been lots of times I have gotten them BEFORE the sunday paper.

            • Tina


    • Jessie

      I’m with you – that’s going a bit too far for my taste. I get extra inserts from family members who don’t coupon, or only use a few of the coupons – my dad and grandmother both get the paper, and both are shopping for one. They take what they want, and are more than happy to give me their leftovers. Then I give my leftovers to my sister, and she passes them to my cousin. By the time everyone’s gone through them, almost everything gets used, and 5 households benefit from 1 purchase of the paper. Find a friend at a different stage in life than you are, or with different tastes or shopping habits, and make a deal to share your inserts.

  • Misally

    I don’t know if they do that in hudson county but i made a deal with a bodega to pick out the coupon inserts on sunday night and monday mornings if i forget to stop by on sunday…..he gives them to me free of charge thankfully and as someone else said i usually try to grab a few extra of the bagged circulars that also have the inserts

  • Selena

    I am such a newbie at this… and dumpster diving is not HAPPENING for me… lol… Thanks for all the other ideas though.. I’m gonna check with my local guy on the corner about getting inserts from the left over papers he has on sunday nights… 🙂

  • Mina

    In SJ news paper price is $1.75 for Phils Inq. I hate paying 1.75.

    • Nina S.

      You can go to shoprite where the paper is only $0.99 on Sunday(both the courier(if your in Camden county) and the inquirer). Some have started making a only 2 paper per customer rule but it’s so much cheaper!

  • Anonymous

    We live in Northern NJ and my husband has actually spoken with a few convenient store and gas station owners who have been very kind in allowing him access on late Sunday nights to look through unsold papers. We almost never have to buy any. He usually comes home with a ton!

  • Gina

    I sometimes go to the recycling center in Little Falls, NJ. No one has ever approached me to say I couldn’t go through the papers. I do get some strange looks though from people dumping their papers. I don’t get into the dumpster, they are always piled high enough where you could just take them off the top. Whenever I go I always come back with a bunch of inserts. It is amazing how many people throw them out untouched

  • Christine

    I buy what I buy and leave it at that. Lately this method has become a real problem. There has been a rash of people emptying out newspaper boxes. They pay the 50 cents, then take all the papers! I can’t get any without getting up at 6am on Saturday. Not happening! Let’s all please only take the one paper we paid for.



    • Kirsten

      Where do you shop around Union. I coupon and I havent been able to find any one near me to trade coupons and I would like to!

      • linda

        i live in union county nj and interested in a coupon buddy

        • Kirsten

          Linda, feel free to email ms at !!

        • kim

          Hey I live in Neptune new to couponing need a coupon buddy

          • Monie

            So do I!!

  • aimee

    I live in a condo bldg. and every Thursday, our local newspaper delivers bundles of circulars with smart source inserts in them ( although they are not as good as the ones in Sunday newspapers). Lucky for me, our neighbors don’t seem to care as there would be bundles left untouched at the end of the day. Actually, I just came back with one bundle ( with 25 inserts)from the mail room. Maybe you can find out from friends or co workers who live in condo/apt. bldgs. if their local newspaper do the same thing like ours.

    • April S

      My mom’s complex does that too, they leave them in the laundry room but usually someone snatches the whole bag as soon as it’s delivered. I told her if she ever sees them to grab me 8. I think it was Memorial Day weekend she shows up to my house with this MONSTER bag full of inserts.. She was so thrilled, carrying on about how she got the mother load for me.. Too bad there were no coupons that weekend! Hahaha. I told her EIGHT, not the whole bag next time. That’s too much sorting for me to handle. 🙂

      I’m friends with the ‘paper-lady’ so she just drops me off a Monday care package of inserts wrapped up like they are a newspaper. Its great because she delivers all of the papers, so I get all different versions of the inserts so once and a while I score the good regional coupons.

      • aimee

        Ahhh, I wish I am friends with the guy who delivers my papers on Saturdays but I could never get up that early to see him. lol! by the way, that was sweet of your mom to do that. It’s funny though that the only time she was able to grab a ton of inserts was a holiday. I’ve talked to my mom about couponing and she was so confused so she just sends me her coupons through the mail:)

        • dip

          ahh the good ol laundry room! thats what my complex does. i can bring myself to grab 4 then wait till the bag gets tossed to get more, i wanna make sure everone gets one. Plus i work in a popular neighborhood bar and my customers feel excited to bring me their coupon inserts! i also have a customer who works for daily news and gets them on either tuesday or wed nite for the upcoming sunday! his are fun cuz they are always different then the ones i get and most of the time has a couple p&g’s that i NEVER seem to get in old bridge nj….

          • April S

            Hahah, my mom is in Old Bridge too! I wonder if you’re both going to the same laundry room.

  • Ruth

    Going through anyone’s garbage is just unsanitary and since dumpsters/recycle bins are also a favorite of mice/rats and other critters, I would not recommend it to anyone. I’m lucky that we have a local paper that is only .75 cents on Friday and it has the coupons that are in the Sunday paper. I also live in PA so I get the Daily News on Thursday for 1.00 and it has the coupons from last Sunday.
    People are very proprietary so if someone sees you go through their recycle bin, they may assume you are looking for personal information for identity theft. It is just plain dangerous and I hope people stop doing it, coupons are not worth the trouble, just pay for them or get them from friends.

  • Amara

    I have been wondering the same thing. I am in Northeast Philly and can’t figure out which recycling center to go to. Right now we order 1 Philadelphia Inquirer for Sunday. We also receive the Northeast Times for free almost every week and also receive circulars and SmartSource coupons. Our neighbors just leave them outside so I pick them up. Ironically before I was couponing I would pick them all up on garbage day for them. Now they get put to good use. We also have a deal with the corner deli that we can pick up the leftover coupons. I will need to start checking on Thursdays

  • Crystal

    I live in an apartment complex with a “recycle shed”. I’ve talked with my landlord and ok’d it and he doesn’t care if I go in anytime and take what I want…papers, coupons, magazines…I never buy the paper.

  • MichelleK

    We got a good deal on the paper for 1 year through Groupon. Then, we buy 2 extra papers each Sunday. We donate the unused paper to animal shelters and vets to use as liners for the cages.

    Also, we get the Advocate her in CT. They carry SS inserts, so we usually pick up a few of those. Unfortunately, sometimes people pick through all the papers, and just leave a pile of them empty with no coupons.

    I wish people were more courteous with their couponing.

    • Amanda

      2.50 for Sunday paper is outrageous

  • kristen

    I used to get them from my local gas station at midnight on sundays. I’d easily get inserts out of 20-30 papers doing that for free, i’d bring little goody bags of stuff I’d gotten for free for the worker there. I found after about 2 months of doing that though that I wasn’t using that many coupons and it was a waste of not only coupons buy my time and energy. I’m happy to just buy 8 papers early sunday morning and be done with it, I save enough money using the coupons that I dont mind the $8 a week to get them. I buy them from that same gas station though, and I also always fill up my car there, so they know I’m greatful for their help. Now the morning guy looks forward to seeing me there on sundays, I think he probably thinks I’m strange for buying 8 newspapers every week…he even notices when I’m running late and don’t get there early in the morning lol.

  • Noahsmomma

    I made a friends with a lady at 7~11. I give her a ride to work a few times a week. She lives close to me. She works on Saturday’s. And saves me the extra early edition Sunday paper. I’ve gotten 10 papers a week for over a month. I was spending $20 a week before my Free papers. It probably cost me $2 to drive her each week.

  • Courtney

    Thanks everyone for the info about the gas stations/liquor stores just throwing out the old papers. I will have to check further into that. I usually get anywhere from 8-10 papers. However I do envy those of you that pay a dollar or 2 per paper. I’m in the Bay Area, CA and the SF Chronicle is $3.00 and that paper always has all of the inserts where as the Oakland Tribune will have half.

  • Jen

    Yes if anyone knows any recycling places in South Jersey please let me know and I will go check it out with you!! lol.

    • Marie

      If you find it i can i tag along??? lol.

  • Roslyn

    I’m in Central Jersey. I used to check 2 apt. complexes near my house, and one day a gentleman walked up to toss his recyclables and asked me if I was looking for coupons. After a quick conversation, he told me that he delivers the paper in my area, and would be glad to just GIVE me his leftover inserts! Sometimes it’s one bundle…sometimes it’s three! I’d been praying for a way to be able to get more inserts because I wanted to coupon on a larger scale and start to make donations. The Lord put him right in my path! Now I only buy a few Bucks County Courier Times(when there are 3 inserts)…they have waaaaay more coupons than Jersey. This was so right on time, now that alot of places in Jersey are doing single stream recycling. I never jumped IN a dumpster, but I would simply pick out what I wanted off the top(when it was just papers). If I hadn’t have met this gentleman, I would have gone back to just buying papers.

  • john

    on a side note. in the news today i saw a story about a couple that got arrested for stealing inserts in south florida. they actually waited for the sunday delivery at the coin operated dispensers and than would pay the $2.00 and take all the inserts and put the papers back in the box. people got them caught on tape and the cops stopped them because of people calling in. this EXTREME couponing needs to stop and its people like us that can do it. keep your eyes and ears open and do it respectfully!!!!

  • Crystal

    A quick word on this…if you are going to a recycle shed or area in an apartment complex but you don’t live there you should ask the manager for permission first and always leave the place cleaner than you found it.

  • Jen G

    I saw a news report about this couple in Florida that were arrested for stealing newspapers from the boxes on the corners. Caught them on tape and everything!