Facts About Phone Books

Telephone directories, or phone books, are in every American household. We usually get two or more each year.

Despite the increase of Internet based telephone number directories, the production of phone books is on the rise. Here are some facts to get you thinking about how important it is to recycle your phone books.

  • The EPA estimates that 37 percent of phone books were recycled in 2009.
  • There are enough phone books created each year to measure 106,700 miles when lined up end to end. This means they would circle around the earth about 4.28 times!
  • By recycling just 500 books, we could save between 17 and 31 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 463 gallons of oil, 587 pounds of air pollution, 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,077 kilowatt hours of energy according to the American Forest & Paper Association
  • About 80 percent of all U.S. paper mills use some recycled material in their manufacturing service. It is estimated that about 200 mills use ONLY recycled material.
  • There are more than 7,000 different titles of yellow pages.
  • 400 million telephone directories are distributed each year.

Despite the fact that phone books are sometimes not considered recyclable, this is not true. While the spines may be trashed, the pages are 100 percent recyclable and are often used to make new phone books. Use Earth911 to find out where to recycle phone books.