Share by e-mail Print This Post

Video: How to find coupons from your Recycling Center!

Many of you have asked about how to find coupons without paying for them! Well, finding coupons at your Recycling Center is one of our favorites! Watch our video to learn how! ;)

  • Find the best day of the week to look for coupons.
    • This may vary by the area or drop-off schedules if your city sponsors home recycling pick-up.
  • Tools of the Trade
    • Gloves that have good gripping (e.g. kitchen/ dish washing gloves)
    • If you do not wear gloves, make sure to bring some Clorox or Lysol hand wipes (Lucky for you, you got them free with all those coupons you found!)
    • Other good items include a stepping stool, a Pik Stick or EZ Reacher, and a bag or small bin to hold your inserts. High heels are optional :)
  • Make sure to sort through each pile just in case the inserts are hiding between pages.
    • Check the dates on the spine of the inserts to make sure you’re getting current ones.
  • It’s best to supplement your newspaper subscriptions with recycling diving, then you can count on having a steady number.  If you only get coupons through recycling, you will have different numbers every week.
  • Don’t rummage through a dumpster that reads “Private Property, Keep Out!” The best places are public dumpsters or community recycling centers. You can find local centers online here and here.
  • Remember to donate your extra Sunday newspapers (after you get out the inserts) to your local recycling center, school classrooms, or pet shelters (for kennel liners).

Leave a Reply

75 thoughts on “Video: How to find coupons from your Recycling Center!”

  1. Brooksbabies08 says:

    I called this morning and in georgia we are required to get a permit and its $100…for that much i might as well buy the newspapers for cheaper….

  2. Brooksbabies08 says:

    I called this morning and in georgia we are required to get a permit and its $100…for that much i might as well buy the newspapers for cheaper….

  3. I have a question. I was looking into “dumpster diving” for coupons at the recycling center but I’m not sure where a recycling center is around here.. or if this is even allowed? I live in Bellevue, NE.. I tried googling but found some scrap metal salvage place :/ Any help/tips/advice would be appreciated! :)

  4. If you coupon, and like to be “green” as well, I have a tip. I got a book from the dollar store ($1) about the uses of vinegar. (it has many) I buy the vinegar with coupons, so it is free (except tax) and use it for everything. It is safe, kills germs, eco-friendly, non-toxic. THEN…..I use any newspaper (not glossy) that I don’t/can’t recycle, to clean with. The combo of vinegar and newspaper does wonders on chrome, glass, and glazed surfaces. SO…..if you are like me, and your local recycling center has limits on how much you can drop off (why???) then put the extra to good use around the house. It is also really good or cleaning up spilled oil on the floor (both cooking and automotive) It absorbs the majority of it making it much easier to get up.

  5. Ziptydudah says:

    It’s true you need to check the date on the spine before taking…I recently was in a hurry and didn’t do this–I barely looked at my finds. I wound up with a bunch of inserts from 2001. That’s right. Not a typo. Decade old coupons. Anyone have a time machine I can borrow?

  6. ask_chelsey says:

    I was told by my local recycle center that I am not allowed to do this = /

  7. ask_chelsey says:

    I was told by my local recycle center that I am not allowed to do this = /

  8. Elle says:

    I live in a smaller town, about 10,000, and we don’t have a recycling center. So I decided to head to the nearest town and drove about 30 minutes to the one there, only to find a household sized dumpster 1/4 full and the big stack of papers on top were from 1983!!! The most recent papers were from Nov of 2010 so I was very disapointed! I checked on weekend subs to the paper, they don’t do sunday only and offer no discount for multiple subscriptions and the cheapest I found would run me $29 a month for just one sub a month! The gas stations here sell out of sunday papers by sunday evening, and I’m becoming pretty desperate! I don’t know anyone who gets the sunday paper and doesn’t use it. Help!!!

  9. Missy says:

    I want to dumpster dive in a paper recycling bin, but everywhere I’ve called around and went in and visited have been so rude about it! How can I do this. What is a KCL to do around here!!!

  10. Brandy says:

    Hi. I live in Philly/NJ area but can’t find a recycling center where I can dive in! My local grocery store has to return the entire paper for credit so no luck there either. Anyone else in this area have any luck?

  11. Melinda says:

    I’m in MD on Andrews Air Force Base. If anyone knows how or where I can get extra inserts I’d be much obliged!

  12. Ariane says:

    I live in Northern VA. Anyone have any ideas of how to get extra inserts? I am truly not having any luck. The paper here even limited the number of subscriptions I could get at one time (I question the truthfulness of the person I talked to on the phone). The neighbors I have talked to do not get the paper and cannot give me any of their inserts.

  13. Kelly H says:

    My husband had asked a local gas/mart what he does with all the extra papers on Monday and he said he has to rip the front page off to get credit and then he is obligated to recycle so he can’t save any parts for us. Well, my hubby went back on monday and to his surprise saw a pile of 15 papers right on top of the garbage dumster! Recycle my butt!! He does this every week and we take all the papers and take the coupons out and recylce the papers ourselves. If we didn’t do this then the papers would NOT get recycled! How many more of these business owners do this because of plain laziness! I’m helping out the town and planet and getting free coupons while doing it…..a no brainer!!!!

  14. Sean R. says:

    I am surprised people said she didn’t warn you about not digging through bins that say private property. She clear says it above. It’s also common sense to ask a recycling center to dig through their piles.

  15. Michele says:

    I work at an assisted living home, and I collect the inserts as the residents are tossing their papers ;)

  16. Traci says:

    This may be a dumb question, but I am so new to this. I have been coupon dumpster diving and I LOVE it! I find so many coupons! My question is do you guys clip all of these and add them to your binder or do you file in folders for the week? I have been cutting them, but it takes up so much time! What is your best method for all these extra coupons that will expire sooner?

    • olianka says:

      I did my first dive last Saturday! Didn’t plan it, just came out spontaniously….hahaha…. My recycling spot is a block away from my house and… it went smooth! 39 valid inserts within 30 mins! Score!
      Will do it again in 2 weeks! Just hell of the clipping left! lol

  17. jewel21577 says:

    Anyone know the rules in pa?? There is a sign at our recycle bin it says no trespassing after hours though they are only open certain days/hours in a week, it does not say no dumpster diving??

  18. Jaye says:

    I called around to a couple in the Tacoma area and they all said we’re not allowed to take newspapers out… I really wish I could find a private recycling site.

  19. Karen says:

    We dumpster dive when we take our recycling! Ours is @ a Park and Ride lot open on the weekend! Here is the funny thing we also get Coke Points and Box Tops there to! My son (9yr) LOVES to go and gets to keep and turn in to his class the boxtops he finds!! Since I am a teacher I keep the ones I find for my class!

  20. shannon says:

    i have asked several stores/gas stations in my area and they all say they have to return the entire newspaper for recycling. i called the newspaper company to confirm and they actually have nothing to do with it. we dont have recycling dumpsters in our town :/ they have personal recycling bins that get picked up on the curb, but its not sorted, its cardboard, glass, plastic and paper all in 1 big bin :/ my mom works at a recycling company but they don’t do newspapers!!! just my luck! i don’t know what to do!

    i went to the pittsburgh zoo a few weeks ago and was joking with my daughter and told her i would throw her in the garbage, which happened to be a recycling bin!!! i was super excited to look in and see an insert right on top so i grabbed it up, but its 2 hours away so nothing i could do regularly… :(

  21. Latasha says:

    Hello couponers, I haven’t had any luck finding free coupons anywhere……. I just want to get a few free inserts what the hay!

  22. Lynette says:

    We have better luck with pre-recycling here. We stop at a local gas station every Monday to pick up ALL their papers for them. We sort through and pull the inserts ant take the rest to the recyling trailers–we help them, they help us!! I am able to do this with the local delivery man now also. In our state they only have to clip off the top corner to send back for credit, where other places may have to send the whole paper. The key is to find a gas station that sells the papers on a rack inside and NOT in a coin box.

  23. Anna says:

    I worry about cleanliness of dumpster diving. Even if you wear gloves to get the coupons, do you continue to wear gloves when you handle the inserts at home. Even in recycling bins, people will throw away things that should not be in there. They found hypodermic needles in some trash/recycling bins around here. I buy coupons in newspapers, print off line and any where else that I can. I balance the cost of getting coupons so I am not spending more to get them but am still saving money.

    Also, I am glad to see people go by the “rules” when they were told not to dumpster dive in the recycling bins in their cities. I am in a profession where I see more and more young people who expect the rules to be bent for them and/or want me to bend the rules for them or just plain brake the rules. Sometimes the breaking of the rules has had dire consequences for them and will impact them for the rest of their lives. Everyone needs to learn to go by the rules and be example to their children and young people.

  24. Michelle says:

    I have been taking my recycling to my local recycling center for years but I have just recently started to look in the newspaper bin for coupons. I am there anyways, so I don’t mind just doing a quick once over in the bin to look for coupons. I would recommend bringing a small recycling bin with your own papers. This serves 2 purposes. First, it gives you an alibi if someone asks why you are there in the first place, second, it gives you a handy place to keep your coupon inserts while you rummage.

    • kimmie says:

      lol an alibi!! that is funny. they just put a new recyling dumpster in our shopping center that closes early each night. but i think isaw a no tresspassing sign!! :(

  25. Catherine says:

    Since I don’t know where they recycle places in sacramento, CA are, I just grab whatever I can from our mail box area on Monday afternoons or Tuesday morning. We get the supplement SS and RP in the mail. The P&G coupons I have to buy every first week of the month. But even then they are hard to come by. The dollar stores get wiped out. Gotta wake up extra early for some :) I would love to dumpster dive…lol

  26. Ira - Corpus Christi, Texas says:

    Corpus Cjrisit, TX City Ordinance proclaims that once items are placed is recycling containers, they become property of the City. Removal of any items is proclamed theft of City Property and punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and jail time. The bark is much bigger than the bite from this ordinance; however, if you are reported and caught in the act, City Police have little choice other that to give a you warning on a first offence and they will take you to jail for a second offence. Everyone should consider the risks and understand that many cities have laws prohibiting dumpster diving and removal of recycled items.

  27. Charisse says:

    Heather, I think that you need to carry an apron with big pockets in your car also. It would keep you from getting dirty. More importantly though, you could put the inserts in the pockets as you go so that you have both hands to dig with :D

  28. Misty says:

    I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, I love digging for coupons. I do this and it is a goldmine on Mondays or Tuesdays. get one copy of each of the local paper, but grab 70-100 extra copies a week from newspaper recycle bins. I have read the signs posted and it says nothing about “No Trespassing” plus I always take my recycling from previous days/weeks at the same time that I am digging so I am putting way more in than I am taking out. People may laugh at me but on the flip side I am not the one paying retail….I laugh at them for not doing it.

  29. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this video! After watching, I searched online for our local newspaper recycling drop-off and I found one near our our house next to an elementary school. My husband and I went for a ride and in 15 minutes, pulled out over 20 inserts ~ all of them unexpired and most of them from the last two weeks.

    I suppose I’m lucky. The bins were clean and are open to the public. No signs were listed about taking things from the dumpster. It’s a busy place too. I’ll be visiting often!

  30. anna says:

    I love couponing myself, but this is absolutely disgusting.

    • Autumn says:

      lol, it’s just paper. I don’t see what’s so disgusting. If it was full on garbage then maybe.

    • Kelley says:

      YEA, what is soo gross about it? Dont stick up your nose at it Honey! IT you could not afford the papers your behind would be in that dumpster soo fast because lets face it, coupons are in THE DEMAND!!! I mean some people, especially the clipping services are wanting US (the couponers) to pay TOP dollar for them!!!

  31. annabelle williams says:

    I live in a small town(1300 pop)so no recycling here. However I called the nearby town halls to ask if there was somewhere to recycle newspaper. I finally found a dumpster-30 miles away! Town hall laughed when I asked if I could take papers out! needless to say I only stop t look when I’m going thru that town but I can usually manage to find 10-15 inserts in 30 min.(very full-I can’t climb in it) well worth my time!

  32. Sarah says:

    My hubby already told me that dumpster-diving for coupons is completely out of the question. Such a party-pooper! I think it looks like a blast, plus, it’s free. My local paper costs $80 every 13 weeks (for 4 Sunday-only subscriptions). I think free would be much better!

  33. Philip says:

    For the lets say shy types, a good place to check out would be your local Post Office, I stalk the Lobby in the evening on Tuesday & Wednesday as well as the weekends becasue people just throw those adds out when they pick up there Mail, Our PO has a large trash can sitting there for people to put them in. I just go thru that and get what I can, you won’t get the varity it usually is only one SS or one RP and the RP is usually not very good, That is how I get my free ones, my last big haul was about 75 SS. You just have to be creative and don’t be afraid to tell people that your collecting too, I have little old ladies in our church sending them home for me from time to time as well.

    • Sarah says:

      FYI Removing mail things from the post office is a federal offence. Sorry!

    • kimmie says:

      omg. that is actually a really great idea!! the post office. i would have never thought of that. im heading there this week. !!

  34. Marisol says:

    HI heather, if you dont mind… what is the address of the place you went to? we are in the same city, and i was curious. I have never done this, and WOULD LOVE to give it a try, but dont know where to start. THANKS!!!

    • Dina says:

      If you are in the same city as Heather, it isn’t hard to figure out where she is…just look in the background. Does that Moxie Java look familiar. Imagine my shock when I realized that I live in the same town as the famous Krazy Coupon Lady!

  35. Suzy says:

    I live in OR and have called around to several recycling plants and they all have told me the same thing….it is not open to the public. Wondering what state thekrazycouponlady is from…..anyone in OR that finds one that allows you to go through the papers, please let me know. I am sure there is enough for all of us. :)

  36. Karen says:

    Heather and Joanie, you girls were fantastic on the Nate Berkus Show!

  37. adda says:

    I get my extra coupons at starbucks in the late afternoon on sundays, only because i ask them if I can take the “ads”/coupon from the newspaper thats been tampered with from other customers and they don’t usally care.

  38. Princess says:

    What’s a little 10 minute romp through the recycle bins while your throwing your paper recycle into it simulaneously… =) …. my son, he’s the “lookout’ bwahaha! *insert evil genius laugh here!

  39. Inseattle says:

    I also live in an apartment. We have a little bin for junk mail recycle right by our mail boxes. I just starting researching this couponing thing. I use them here and there but am not an “extremist” yet. Maybe you can check and see if there are any apt complexes near buy that have these. Lots of my neighbors throw out their ads.

  40. Yolanda says:

    I called my local recycling center and they don’t allow you to go through because they do pay the newspaper for the extra papers and then they all get mixed up so unfortunately I cant. :(

  41. Heather says:

    Where did you go? I live in ID too and I’m trying to find places that allow me to do this! Thanks for the clip!

    • Jillian says:

      I live in the DC area too…If you find a place, let me know. And honestly, I wouldn’t mind someone to go with! lol

  42. Jenny says:

    My town doesn’t recycle. Neither did my old town! I’m suprised to see how many towns recycle.

  43. jamie says:

    I learned something new today…I’ve been couponing for almost 3yrs and have never heard the date was on the insert spine:) All I keep thinking is-DUH!! LOL
    also, I stopped by a paper retreiver sunday afternoon and a neighbor called the police on me. She came running across the field to let me know and I asked her what for? she said she told them I was stealing school property. When I explained it was coupons, she told me to leave before they got there. I waited-30minutes (glad to see we’re sure high priority) and the cop just looked at her and said “you called 911 for someone taking coupons?” Anyway, he just told me to be careful that if the place hosting the paper retreiver wanted to press trespassing charges I could be in trouble. This was a school, not a problem but be very careful at churches. He also said I shuld call the 800 number on the dumpster.
    I’m starting to agree with Summer, and start paying 10cent a coupon:)

  44. Summer says:

    Dumpster diving is just something I’m not willing to do :) I know a lot of you don’t mind it, but I’m willing to pay $.10 a coupon to get them from a clipping service.

    • Leila says:

      Thank you. Seriously. Thats a little tooo KRAZY. Much more important things you could be doing.

  45. Maria S. says:

    The city bins I donate SOOOOOOOOO MUCH paper to at Church/Park/School locations have stickers prohibiting climbing into or taking paper from. Kind of makes me mad, because I would only be taking a few inserts if I was actually able to find any from standing on the ground looking/reaching in, and the weight would be feathers compared to ALL the paper I recycle for the certain organization to get credit for. I would go in and ask for permission but I really hate to be told no, especially with all the paper I have “donated” for years, and I would pout and stop donating there too.
    I really wish the street I’m on was part of the city’s recycling program that has the cans with the “eye” and points are earned for gift cards, etc (really wish more I wasn’t even residing on this street). But I live on a street where people can’t even get heavy trash straight so these streets aren’t included.

  46. Victoria says:

    I live in Sacramento, California and I cannot for the LIFE of me find a newspaper recycling center!!! Absolutely nowhere and no website is giving me any answers!!! Csn anyone help?? I mean, the fact that we have absolutely no stores that ever double coupons is a bummer, but not even a place to get more coupons? Whats the deal!

    Victoria

    • Nikki says:

      There is one on Power Inn across from the family court house. I don’t know what its called and I don’t know their policy.

    • Suzie says:

      I also live in the Sacramento area. I went in to the Sac Bee to see if I could do this. They actually keep their recycling bins inside their wherehouse under lock. She was super nice but even showed me an email she just got last week concerning the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” and that they are not allowed to let people go through recycling bins. Bummer.

    • Sarah says:

      Hey, I’m in Davis! Check the search.earth911.com link! I typed in Davis and it shows me some Sac locations! I.E. there’s one on

      1957A Railroad Drive

      Sacramento, CA 95815

  47. Amanda says:

    I live in a apartment. There is a trash can by our mail boxes. So every Tuesday and Wednesday I makes sure i grab a few redplums! My dad actually works at a recycling place but its only metals I think… :( I’ll have to check with him to make sure though. Thanks KCL’s!!!

  48. Blossom9283 says:

    I work at nights so I’m usually at 7-11 when they are getting rid if the papers for the day but said they need to return the coupons to get a refund from the newspaper. :(

  49. C.M. says:

    I do this and it is a goldmine on weekends. I have read the signs posted and it says nothing about “No Trespassing” plus I always take my recycling at the same time that I am digging so I am putting WAY more in than I am taking out.

  50. Alyssa says:

    I went to our local recycling center and they told me the same thing as well. The employee offered that I speak to the manager but oh well rules are rules and I’m sure he’s not going to make an exception just for me.

    A few weeks in a row I got lucky rummaging through the recycling bins at our local dairy store. Every Monday morning they recycle the papers from Sunday and I know the manager, so I asked him if what I was doing was okay. He told me he didn’t care because they were garbage anyways so I could take what I wanted. Unfortunately, every week since then, the garbage men come before I get there and take all the papers. I might call and ask them to hold the unused papers for me and that I could pick them up every Monday morning instead. This way I could donate the papers to the humane society afterwards as well.

  51. Brittany says:

    It is illegal in my town :(

  52. Candice says:

    I’ve also been told by my local recycling centers that it is illegal to rummage through the recycling and I could be arrested. The bins aren’t even out in the open like the ones in the video they are kept behind gates.

  53. Ophiliated says:

    Oh my gosh, I love this site! That clip made my day. Oh how we love our coupons! I loved, loved, loved Heathers excitedd “Woo, thers a good one!” It totally cracked me up because that is so me too!

  54. Christina says:

    I think it irresponsible to not at least MENTION that in a lot of states, the recycling program subsidizes the trash pickup cost, and that it is illegal to do this.

    Please folks, check with your local trash company before waltzing into the recycling center.

  55. Ruth says:

    I noticed you missed a P&G mailer when you were sorting. I was hoping your cameraman would point it out to you!

    • mamabair says:

      The P&G insert she missed was from April, and all those coupons expire the last day of every month!

    • Heather says:

      How good eye! :)

      • Karen says:

        I love your videos, Heather! I went to my recycling center and the papers are all bundled for the Boy Scouts and I feel funny looking through them. Do you know how I can find aim or pepsodent
        toothpaste coupons, my grocery store has them on sale for a dollar and I was trying to get them for free. I have yet to make a toothpaste deal. :( As a coupon virgin I can’t seem to find what I need. Thank you for all your help!

  56. Kaylee says:

    KCL,
    I was told that they lock the recycling centers and are not letting anyone in to rummage through coupons. That this is how they make their money and if anyone does so, they;d be prosecuted for theft and tresspasssing. Help! I want to dumpster dive, I just dont want to get into any trouble! :(

  57. Cheryl says:

    I have contacted my local recycling center in Northern Indiana.They have stated that once people put it in the recycle dumpster that it is the property of the recycling center. If people remove it they can be fined or jailed. So I would contact the recycling center before you do it.