Recycle Phone Books

Phone Book papers are 100% recyclable. Most of the phone-books distributed today are made from prefabricated wood to strengthen the fibres for reuse. Old phone-books are also sometimes recycled into insulation materials, ceiling tiles and roofing surfaces, as well as paper towels, grocery bags, cereal boxes and office papers. In fact, in a gesture both symbolic and practical, Pacific Bell now includes payment envelopes in its bills created from old Smart Yellow Pages phone books.

According to Los Gatos, California’s Green Valley Recycling, recycling phone books can save 7000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 17 to 31 trees and 4,100 kilowatts of electricity.

Many recyclers won’t accept phone books because the fibres used to make the books lightweight pages are too short to be reformulated into new paper. Besides, mixing old phone books with other waste paper can even contaminate the batch, hindering the recyclability of the other paper fibres.

Even if we can’t recycle the phone books we can still reuse them. It is a good fire starter in a wood burning fireplace or outdoor fire pits. The phone book pages can also be shredded and used as mulch to keep weeds down in the garden. The paper is biodegradable and will eventually return back to the soil.

Take from

By Chong Man Tien


One Response

  1. great article Man Tien!

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