Nov. 18, 2010

18th annual phonebook recycling is Dec. 13-17

by Anne Krapfl

Got a question?

Questions about this year's phonebook recycling effort can be directed to Sue Mallas, recycling coordinator, 4-0692.

Old phonebooks -- such as the ISU directory, Qwest and Yellowbook -- will be collected for recycling the week of Dec 13. Building supervisors and custodial staff have been alerted. Employees are encouraged to check their workspaces for outdated phonebooks that are good candidates for recycling.

Start collecting now

The directory companies will be delivering fall 2010 phonebooks in the next couple weeks. Iowa State stopped printing a campus directory this fall; the most up-to-date contact information is in the online directory. Departments can start collecting and boxing phonebooks anytime. Signs for the collection boxes can be printed from the phonebook recycling website (see "posters" in the left column).

Building pickups

Facilities planning and management crews will collect the boxes from nearly 90 buildings -- on central campus, the student apartment neighborhoods, research park and Vet Med campus -- beginning Monday, Dec. 13. If the weather cooperates, their task could be completed by the middle of that week. The building list (PDF) is online. It focuses on large buildings with many occupants. Employees in buildings not on the list who want to recycle are invited to take their phonebooks to a neighboring building.

Boxes should be brought to the designated building pickup location -- many times the loading dock -- either Friday, Dec 10, or first thing on Dec 13.

Destination: Des Moines

The phonebooks become part of the "mixed paper" supply the university recycles at International Paper in Des Moines. While the university has received a small cash-per-ton payment in the past, the current rate is $0. Perhaps more important is the $70/ton disposal fee Iowa State avoids by not treating the books as trash.

The university community recycled six tons of used phonebooks a year ago, down from 16 tons in 2008. FPM program coordinator Kelly McCool said that one reason for the decline is that university offices requested about 40 percent fewer phonebooks from the outside directory companies last fall. This fall, that ratio dropped to about 60 percent fewer outside directories requested than in 2008.