12 Places to Get Free Newspapers for Packing, Cleaning Windows, Reading 

Sanket Patil

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Newspapers are recyclable and, hence, environment-friendly to a great extent. Therefore, they also make superb alternatives for packing, cleaning windows and other purposes.

You can safely discard used newspapers in recycling bins and be assured that you’re also caring for the environment.

And often there are times when we need to read back issues of newspapers. Some of us want these old newspapers for entertainment, such as reading comic strips, solving crosswords or Sudoku games or even referring to an old story.

Besides their utility for entertainment or reading, you can use free newspapers for packing and cleaning windows for several reasons.

I will, therefore, explain why newspapers are commonly used for packing, cleaning and other purposes.

Reasons People Use Newspapers for Packing & Cleaning

There are several reasons people use newspapers for packing and cleaning. And that’s the reason old newspaper issues are in great demand among some people. Here are the reasons why people prefer old newspapers for packing and cleaning.

High Absorbency

Newsprint, or the paper on which newspapers are printed, has a very high rate of absorbency. Meaning they absorb moisture from the air and other liquids rather quickly. That’s why they’re helpful for cleaning.

High Bonded Rate

Since newspapers are printed on superior quality newsprint, they have a high bonded rate.

This ensures that there are no fibres left on windows when you clean them with a glass cleaner and a newspaper. It leaves the glass sparkling clean.

Easy to Shred

Maybe you’ve received a parcel from Amazon or other companies where you could have found the box containing several shreds of newspaper to protect the stuff.

That’s because newspapers are a packing material of choice. They’re easy to shred in any shredder and can be disposed of quickly.

Free Old Newspapers

In some countries around the world, you can sell old newspapers by weight and get some money. However, that’s not possible in most parts of America.

Therefore, if you’re a subscriber, you’ll be left with a pile of old newspapers that are apparently useless. Instead, people make good use of such newspapers for other purposes such as packing, wrapping or even igniting wood at a fireplace.


Newspapers are lightweight. Therefore, they don’t add bulk to any package if you use newspaper shreds as a buffer for packing a parcel. And they offer an excellent alternative to Styrofoam, which costs money and isn’t really very environmentally friendly. 


People want back issues of newspapers to male clippings of some news articles or features or even ads for collecting on their scrapbooks.

They could have missed out on some part of the news or wanted to collect different articles from various newspapers. Hence, they look for old newspapers.

Book Covers

Due to the high absorbency rate and superior quality of newspapers, several people around the world use newspapers to make book covers. They protect the covers of books wonderfully and cost nothing.

Also, being free, you can change these covers several times if they get torn or damaged for any reason.

Sturdy Bags

One of the best ways to use old newspapers and use them for packing is by making envelopes and bags. All you require is a sufficient stock of such newspapers, a pair of scissors and some glue.

Being environment friendly, lots of stores, bakers and other outlets prefer such bags made from newspapers.

Now that we’re aware of eight strong reasons why a lot of people prefer newspapers for packing, window cleaning, reading and other purposes, let’s proceed to find where we could get them.

12 Best Places to Get Free Newspapers

Actually, getting free newspapers for packing, cleaning windows, reading, or any other purposes is fairly simple.

All you need to do is look around. And I’m sure you’ll find several such sources for old as well as current issues of newspapers.

Here’re some places to look for and get free newspapers for various purposes.

1. Free Newspaper Boxes and Dispensers

Newspaper Boxes

You must have definitely seen these free newspaper boxes and dispensers on streets in crowded areas and business districts across America.

Here, you can get current issues of some daily and weekly newspapers absolutely free. However, you can take only one copy of each newspaper or weekly from these boxes.

You might be wondering who gives away free newspapers and weeklies. Actually, a lot of newspapers make enough money from advertising. That’s because they have a very high circulation.

The more the circulation of any newspaper or weekly, the greater their income from ads. 

Hence, to boost their readership numbers and circulation, some media houses give away free newspapers.

Additionally, company or political party mouthpieces, newsletters from religious groups and other newspapers that carry sheer propaganda are also available free from these boxes.

2. Friends & Neighbors

Friends and Neighbors

You could get a bulk of free newspapers from friends and neighbours. Normally, they would be dumping old newspapers in trashcans.

However, they might keep away these old newspapers for you if you request them to do so. All that you need to do is collect these free newspapers from your friends and newspapers.

Why would they give these newspapers to you? The answer is simple. These newspapers would otherwise occupy some space in their homes and lie there useless.

In America, you can’t really sell old newspapers because nobody buys them. So, they might oblige by giving you their old newspapers if you request.

3. Dental Clinics

Dental Clinics

If you’ve ever been to a dentist, you would be aware of the long time it takes to see one.

Even if you have an appointment, it’s still likely that you would have to wait for a considerable time for the dentist to finish their work on another patient. In the meantime, you have to while away for some minutes.

To help you spend those few minutes, dental clinics often have a stack of the latest newspapers and magazines. In fact, most of them subscribe to at least two daily newspapers for the benefit of their patients.

And they have no use for the pile of newspapers that collects at the clinic at the end of the working day.

You could visit the nearest dental clinic and request the dentist or their secretary to give you these old newspapers. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to do so since it gets rid of junk from their premises and doesn’t cost anything.

4. Medical Clinics

Medical Clinics

Similar to dental clinics, medical clinics also subscribe to more than one newspaper daily for reading by their patients in the waiting room.

You can request your physician or any doctor and their secretaries to give away such old newspapers. They would definitely oblige, and you could in fact, get a large stack of old newspapers from them.

5. Hospitals


Your nearest hospitals are also a superb source of old newspapers if you’re willing to take the effort.

Obviously, you simply can’t breeze into a hospital and start collecting old newspapers meant for patients and their families. However, there’s a superb way to get hold of a lot of newspapers every day if you’re willing to give it a try.

Contact the cleaning staff or cleaning company that does janitorial work at the hospital. They would usually collect newspapers discarded by patients and their kin.

You might know that often, relatives or friends visiting a patient bring in newspapers for them to read. And they dump these newspapers in trashcans after finishing reading.

You might have to pay the cleaning staff a small amount of money, in some cases, to collect and hand over these discarded newspapers.

However, in most cases, they’ll do it for free since it reduces their burden of sorting out the waste and separating newspapers for the recycle bin.

6. Newspaper Offices

Newspaper Offices

And what can be a better source for new and old newspapers than the newspaper office itself?

As a matter of fact, the circulation department of every newspaper receives a lot of old newspapers, such as previous editions, that news vendors couldn’t sell.

Newspaper companies take back such old issues and sell them off in bulk to recyclers.

If you approach a newspaper office and their circulation department, they will give you a few copies of their old editions and maybe include the current one, too. You can specify reasons why you require these newspapers.

Additionally, newspapers always have a trial print. This means some copies of the newspaper will be printed first to eliminate any extra ink on the printing press.

Often, these trial prints are as many as 1,000 to 2,000 copies. And since they’re smudged with ink, they’re discarded. You could request such prints, too, for your packing, cleaning and other purposes.

7. Libraries


Public and private libraries stock a lot of newspapers for their members and other readers every day. And once the day is over, they have no need for these old issues.

Hence, some public and private libraries discard these newspapers in the trash or shred them.

If you’re a member of any such library, you could find out what happens with old newspapers.

And if they’re willing, you can get a lot of old newspapers from them almost daily. Mostly, libraries give away old newspapers to recycling companies. But they would be happy to give you some if you’re on good terms with the librarian.

8. Airports


Another superb source to get free newspapers is airports. If there’s a major airport in your city, you’re in for luck to get free newspapers for packing, cleaning windows, reading and other purposes.

That’s because most major airports stack top newspapers for their Business and First- Class travellers to read free.

Obviously, you won’t get direct access to the Business and First-Class lounges at the airport.

However, you can request the janitorial staff at the airport to give you some free copies of the day’s newspapers or even discarded ones.

One of the best places to look for free newspapers at an airport is baggage trolleys. Countless passengers leave their newspapers in these trolleys at the time of check-in.

These are later collected by janitors or persons who manage the trolleys. You could request these people too and get the latest newspapers for free.

9. Office Buildings

Office Buildings

Office buildings are a goldmine if you’re looking for old and latest newspapers for free. That’s because most offices buy newspapers to get business and other news that affects them.

And they also keep newspapers for employees to read during breaks. Furthermore, lots of office workers also buy their own newspapers and leave them at their desks instead of carrying them back home.

Therefore, you can get a large pile of old and new newspapers every evening.

Again, you can’t simply enter these offices and grab all the newspapers you want. Instead, you would have to speak with the janitorial staff at these office buildings and complexes to hand over a few newspapers to you.

If you require a really huge stack of newspapers, pay some tips to the janitorial staff, who would then willingly oblige.

10. Hotels


Top hotels keep newspapers in their reception area and also provide some in the rooms of their guests. They discard these old newspapers in the reception area. Guests are free to carry away those provided in rooms or leave them there.

Therefore, a hotel is also an excellent source of old and new newspapers for all purposes- cleaning windows, wrapping or even reading and entertainment.

If you speak with the front desk, the hotel staff might allow you to take away some of the old newspapers.

They have no use for these newspapers, and therefore, they dump them in trashcans. Here, too, the janitorial staff would be able to help you get a pile of newspapers daily if you strike good terms with them and possibly offer a small tip for their service.

11. Local Stores Near You

Local Stores Near You

Local stores near you, such as Walmart, Target, Costco and others, can also help you get a lot of old newspapers for free. They stock newspapers for buyers. And some of these newspapers cannot be returned to their publishers.

Therefore, these newspapers are discarded as trash.

If you contact any large supermarket store, they would have some surplus stocks of newspapers and old periodicals.

They would be happy to let you have them at no cost since it saves them a lot of space and effort for their staff.

12. Online Free Newspapers

Online Free Newspapers

There are a couple of ways to get free newspapers online, too. One of them is by subscribing to various free online newspapers, and you can even read old newspapers online for free.

And the second by advertising on Craigslist and asking for free old newspapers. Actually, there are lots of free newspapers and magazines available online. Generally, media companies give them away as samples.

Then we have various religious and other groups that would willingly send you their publications by mail if you fill up their online forms and submit them with your name and address.

However, don’t expect to receive several copies from such organizations since they don’t have large budgets to give away free newspapers and other periodicals.

The other way of getting free newspapers online is to subscribe to the newsletter service on various newspaper sites.

You can become a subscriber, and you will receive free newspapers on a monthly daily basis.

You can even download apps that provide access to digital newspapers, and this way, you'll get free newspapers for reading.

The steps you should follow to get free newspapers include searching for the newspaper site you want to read, checking if they have any free subscriptions available, and becoming a subscriber to enjoy newspapers for free.

In Conclusion

Before concluding, I’ll add that you can also get newspapers from schools and colleges as well as by advertising for them free on Craigslist. Getting free newspapers is easy if you approach any of these 12 places. You can contact one or more sources for such newspapers.

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