How To Get Rid Of Old Magazines – Dispose, Recycle, Donate?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: September 14, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

If you’re a person who hoards stacks of magazines, at some point, you’re going to have to dump them somewhere.

Not only do they have the potential to pose a fire hazard, but they also take up valuable space that can be better used for other things.

How to get rid of old magazines – dispose, recycle, donate? Any three of these can be effective in removing all those periodicals for good.

It comes down to what your disposal preferences are.

But, there are a couple things to consider before you start chucking them into the trash.

How to get rid of old magazines – dispose, recycle, donate?

Before going berserk, look through the stacks. Just because you may not have a practical use for them doesn’t mean that someone else won’t find them to be absolute treasure.

What’s more, if the magazines are very old or one that was once popular but no longer published, they might be worth a pretty penny.

Are old magazines worth money?

Of course, not all old magazines are going to be worth money.

But, if you have an eye for collectibles, then you might be passing up an opportunity to increase your coffers.

Although you should confer with someone knowledgeable in collectibles, certain issues and volumes can be worth more than $100,000.

For instance, Playboy’s first issue with Marilyn Monroe on the cover can go for as much as $75,000 and in 2007 an 1887 issue of Beeton’s Christmas Annual sold at auction for $156,000.

Determining Value

If the magazines are older than 1999, determine which ones you want to keep depending on the title, subject, content or year.

Definitely keep them if they’re older than 1975 and in near-mint condition. Magazines with a plastic covering over them will get you top dollar.

The following is a guideline for magazines you should consider keeping:

  • National Geographic
  • Playboy
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • Mad Magazine
  • Penthouse
  • Monster Parade
  • Vogue
  • Seventeen
  • Love
  • The New Yorker
  • The Saturday Evening Post 
  • Billboard

Are there any other reasons to keep old magazines?

Magazines are a sort of historical timestamp. Certain events, people, places, fashions, fads and moments might be worth hanging onto.

If you have a TIME issue from something like the assassination of JFK or the Berlin Wall crumbling down, you may want those for posterity.

It may also be worth keeping a magazine from the fall of the Twin Towers during September 11th, 2001 or because you were present at a particular presidential inauguration.

Other than that, you should find a way to get rid of the rest of them.

Where can I dispose of old magazines?

Check with your municipal waste and recycling centers to see if they take old magazines.

Also, look up local laws and regulations about what you can and can’t throw away in the trash.

If all is a go, then dump them into the trash can and allow your regular garbage pickup to take care of it.

In the case you have mountains of magazines, you might want to haul them yourself to the city dump. 

Where can I recycle old magazines?

If you would rather be earth-friendly about magazine disposal, you can take them to a recycling facility.

These fall under the category of “mixed paper,” along with books, catalogues and phonebooks.

Unfortunately, these have a lower commodity value than newspapers, office paper and cardboard.

This means there’s a smaller market and recycling isn’t widely available.

However, there are some municipal recycling centers that accept it as well as paper mills.

In some places, it’s illegal NOT to recycle old magazines, like in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Preparing Magazine for Recycling

Before putting magazines out for curbside pickup or taking it to a recycling center, ensure they’re in acceptable condition.

This means removing plastic coverings and inspecting them for signs of water damage.

If they’re yellow-brown or sopping wet, you will have to put them out with the regular trash.

Water damage makes the paper stiffer and heavier, which not only influences the amount of money places want to pay for it, but it makes the fibers more difficult to breakdown.

What places take magazine donations?

If you have some cool magazines that aren’t valuable or destroyed yet you don’t want to throw them away, you could always donate them.

Amazingly, there are many places that will take old magazines but they shouldn’t have any damage, including tears, rips and missing pages:

  • Artistic Organizations or Youth-Outreach Art Programs: local artists can always use old magazines for something
  • Local Library: many libraries have magazine exchange programs for money or other perks
  • Doctor, Hospital ; Dental Offices: the medical industry is always on the lookout for waiting room reading materials
  • Military: men and women overseas love to read old magazines while away from home
  • Women, Family ; Homeless Shelters: these organizations continually look for things their residents can read
  • Preschools ; Daycares for Craft Projects: children’s holiday crafts can always get a boost from old magazines
  • Magazine Harvest: an online literacy promotion organization that take old magazine donations
  • Savers Superstore: an online community site that helps you find a magazine donation location in your area
  • Freecyle: an online swap shop where you can advertise the magazines to have an interested party come and pick them up
  • MagLiteracy: another literacy organization you can find online that supplies periodicals to people of all ages
  • US Modernist: an organization that takes old magazines of all kinds, particularly design and architecture; they scan, archive and preserve the rich history and culture of magazines

Final Thoughts

It’s a fairly simple process to get rid of old magazines. Once you decipher if you have any worth stashing, then you can decide whether to trash, recycle or donate the magazines.

It will clear away the space they take up for more practical purposes and you can rid yourself of what you no longer need to hang onto.

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