Recycling Phone Books


It’s phone book time again- If you have 5 phones, you are probably going to receive at least 5 phone books! The question to ask, do you use them all? Do you need that many phone books? So what’s an office to do?

Life Cycle of a Yellowbook

Did You Know?

  • 540 Million phone books are given out each year
  • Phone Books make up for 660,000 tons of trash every year.
  • Nationally only 18% of phone books are recycled every year.
  • Americans recycled their phonebooks for a year, we would save 650,000 tons of paper and free up two million cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Each 500 books recycled, we save:
  • 7,000 gallons of water
  • 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 17 to 31 trees
  • 4,100 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power an average home for six months

Can’t Recycle- then ReUse

  • Use to start a fire in your fireplace
  • Use as mulch in your garden to keep weeds down
  • Resell to Lifelong collector Gwillim Law sells old phonebooks from all 50 U.S. states as well as from most Canadian and Australian provinces.
  • Use as a booster seat for a child.
  • Press flowers
  • Drop off at schools for paper mache crafts

Where to Go For Addresses and Phone numbers

Where to go to Recycle

  • Earth 911 – recycle your old phonebooks (if you have curbside recycling, just toss them in there).
  • 1-800-953-4400 to find a local place to recycle your phone books.
  • Keep America Beautiful– type in your zip code to learn how to recycle your outdated phone book or call 877.887.3292
  • Project ReDirectory –at 1-800-953-4400 for a bin near you.

Where to Opt Out of Recieving Phone Books

  • AT&T/YellowPages (formerly SBC and Bell South): 1.800.792.2665Verizon (Idearc): 1.800.888.8448Dex: 1.877.243.8339Yellow Book: 1.800.373.3280 or 1.800.373.2324 YellowPagesGoesGreen – enter your info here to get your name off the mailing list.

Great Ideas!

Erie, PA-

  • features information about how recycling phone books in Northern Pennsylvania can not only create new insulation, but proceeds will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank. Erie Energy Products is donating one cent per pound recycled to the food bank, which has been recycling phone books in Erie for 13 years. The project takes place thanks to a $5,000 grant from Idearc Media, and allows phone books to be recycled at 10 locations through January 31.


  • For every 355 Reno/Sparks/Carson City phone books recycled, 17 trees, 6,953 gallons of water, 463 gallons of oil and enough landfill space to occupy a Volkswagen Beetle are saved, according to statistics gathered by AT&T Real Yellow Pages.For every ton of phone books recycled at one of the listed participating park or municipal locations between Monday and Dec. 31, AT&T and the Arbor Day Foundation will donate 17 trees to local parks as a way to symbolize the number of trees saved through recycling.


  • Office Depot has a recycle as you shop promotion, through Feb. 2009. You can also recieve a coupon for $10.00 off!
Aspire MidPage June 19