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 shopping center.
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 neighbourhood - 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 of them.
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 neighbourhood 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 neighbours. Tell them you are collecting and hauling away all the old newspapers and boxes in he neighbourhood each week. You might even offer them $5 a month if they'll have everything ready for you when you make your weekend collection rounds.
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, then so much the better. With your wife and kids, a couple of neighbour 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 if they have any old newspapers or cardboard boxes you can haul away for them.
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 and cardboard.
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.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.