KNIB: Recycle those old phone books (and other items)!

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Don’t throw away your old phone books!

That’s a message Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) is sending to area residents to keep thousands of telephone directories out of the landfill.

Instead, (KNIB) will accept phone books for recycling at both recycle centers: 4665 Hydraulic Road, Rockford; and 13125 N. Second St., Roscoe.

The centers are open from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday mornings throughout the year. They are closed holidays. The centers are also closed if winter temperatures fall below zero.

Drop-offs are free at both locations.

According to staff, only 22 percent of households recycle old phone books. That means that more than 660,000 tons of waste created by outdated directories are added to landfills across the United States. Cities across the country have taken notice and are now joining the cause.

Communities such as San Francisco and Seattle have attempted to ban automatic distribution of phone books because they can be seen as wasteful, unwanted and harmful to the environment,” said KNIB Executive Director Lori Gummow.

The recycling push is not limited to phone books, Gummow said. Other books can be repurposed at home without bringing them to a facility.

Paper can be taken from books and used to line pet cages, start fires, fertilize gardens and fill compost piles.

Items accepted for free drop-off at both KNIB Recycle Centers include the following:

• Paper, preferably in paper bags: Newspapers, direct mail, office/computer paper, chipboard (e.g., cereal or tissue boxes), wire-ring notebooks, paperbacks, magazines and phone books;

• Corrugated cardboard, flattened (NO pizza boxes);

• Metals and electronics, including cell phones: (NO) TVs, computer monitors, appliances containing Freon or propane tanks;

• Bagged clothing: Wearable or not, including paired shoes, hats, belts, linens, throw rugs, stuffed toys;

• Egg cartons; and

• Plastic 6-pack bottle rings.

From the May 28-June 3, 2014, issue

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