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How to Recycle Telephone Directories

When phone books are updated, we are left with heavy phone directories that take up space. Luckily, the paper inside phone books is made from recycled materials and can be recycled again once you receive a new book. Do yourself and the environment a favor and find out where you can recycle your old phone directories. Send them on the road to be reused once again.


Donate to Recycling Center

Recycle your old phone directory.
  1. Gather your old phone directories. Consider collecting some from neighbors as well.
  2. Remove any contaminated materials from your phone book, such as magnets or plastic materials. You may not be able to recycle your phone book if these items are present.
  3. Contact your local recycling center. It is likely that they accept old phone books which can be reused for new phone books, grocery bags, paper towels, or other products. Find your local center in your phone book, or enter "phone book" and your city on Earth 911's website.

Shred and Reuse

  1. Shred your phone book pages into long strips of paper. You can do this by hand or by placing sheets of the paper through a paper shredder.
  2. Scatter the strips of paper in your garden. This reduces weeds and will not be harmful, as it is biodegradable.
  3. Pack your mailing packages with the strips of phone book paper instead of packing peanuts. This makes for a much more Eco-friendly packing material. Additionally, you can use the strips of phone book paper to fill a gift bag instead of decorative tissue paper.

Things You Will Need

  • Computer or phone
  • Paper shredder

About the Author

Sarah Mollman began writing for "The Northern Iowan" newspaper in 2005. She was awarded scholarships from the Department of English at the University of Northern Iowa for Outstanding Short Story and Outstanding Personal Essay in 2008. Mollman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching from the University of Northern Iowa.

Photo Credits

  • a blue recycle symbol image by wayne ruston from Fotolia.com