Three Letters Re: Turning One Town’s Junk Into This Man’s Treasure

That was an excellent article by A. Arizonan! As a former newspaper deliverer (rural route in the American Redoubt), I would like to add that there are benefits to delivering or subscribing to newspapers.

As a deliverer who serviced home customers and coin-op boxes, I could amass “extra” or “unsold” paper to the tune of about 300 to 500 pounds a month. To this day I still have about 2000 pounds in storage. I’d have more but I can’t properly store any more.

The added benefit of my former route was that I got to meet a lot of people and explore places near me that I wouldn’t otherwise go. This has proved useful in learning more about where I live and who lives in it.

I also found some of my customers would return the rubber bands and plastic sleeves so I could reuse them (as they cost me money to use). I asked one customer if they would return their papers as well so I could “recycle” them and they were more than happy to. (As if I needed more of what I couldn’t save, but you see my point).

After giving the route to a friend and fellow prepper, my friend has told me that he now has two customers who want unsold or “used” paper! He, like myself, struggles with storage space (he has about three times what I have in paper) so he is happy to not go out of his way to the recycling place but rather leave the “extra” with someone who has a use for it.
If you would like a massive amount of newsprint in a short amount of time, you can either get a route or simply talk to your delivery person. – T.M.

Dear Mr. Rawles,
One quick point with regard to the statement: “Some frown on cellulose as an insulator because of two of its other main properties, namely flammability and absorbency (ask anyone who has had a roof leak into an attic with cellulose fill).”  Commercially available cellulose insulation is treated with borate, and is actually safer than fiberglass in nearly every regard including fire safety. Regards, Peter in Maryland

A. Arizonan mentioned: “Cooking. My grandparents used to have a grill that utilized only newspaper to cook on. Quite a while back I even saw these advertised on late night TV.”

Newspapers may contain toxic chemicals and these chemicals might end up in your food. Typically paper is treated with toxic beaching agents and these toxins remain in paper. Newspaper also utilize recycled paper which may also have become contaminated other with toxins from their previous use. – An Anonymous Reader

JWR Adds: This warning is particularly true of slick color-printed inserts. These should all be shunted off for recycling, as their risks outweigh their benefits in almost every potential application.