Why Should You Start Recycling Phonebooks?
Many recyclers do not accept telephone books, given that the fibers that are used are too short to be reformulated into new paper. Still it shouldn’t stop there. You need to realize that phonebook papers are 100 percent recyclable. Traditionally, recycling phonebooks is simply using the old ones to make new phonebooks. There are countless benefits we as a society can gain from recycling this kind of paper.
It has been found that if all Americans recycled phonebooks for a year, 650,000 tons of paper would be saved. This will free up two million cubic yards of landfill space and go a long way toward helping the environment.
There are some staggering numbers when just 500 books are recycled. 7,000 gallons of water would be saved, 17 to 31 trees would be saved, and 4,100 kilowatts of electricity would be spared. That is enough power to support an average home for up to six months.
Keep in mind those are numbers for just 500 books being recycled. Think about the effect 650,000 tons of paper would have on the environment. There would be insurmountable numbers of saved resources in regards to water, landfill space, trees and kilowatts of electricity.
Take Action: Recycle and Opt-Out
Although many recyclers will not accept telephone books, you can still recycle them to have new phonebooks made. It is hard to imagine what a single phonebook could do for the environment, but these types of numbers make you realize the kind of effect you can make. Recycling phonebooks is just as important as recycling anything else in the world.
Many major players now realize that there is a polarization towards the use of online directories and eco-friendly lifestyles. The Yellow Pages Association created an opt-out page for their customers to use and has had a comparable web version of their service for quite awhile now. But more needs to be done. Awareness is key; hopefully government regulation will change these overly wasteful practices in the future. Call your phone company and ask to be taken of the distribution list if you no longer require a hard copy phone book.
Here are a few resources to help you recycle your old phonebooks: