A Dime Worth Your Time

October 30, 1998

By Michael Jessen

Say, Buddy, can you spare a dime?

No, I'm not mooching, just trying to convince you to recycle your old telephone directory. You hand over your old telephone book for recycling and a non-profit group gets a dime.

BC TEL is again helping regional districts meet their challenge of a 50% waste diversion from the landfill by offering a fund raising program to non-profit groups for the collection of old BC TEL phone books for recycling. BC TEL is donating ten cents per BC TEL phone book collected.

In the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Nelson Recycling Depot -- which serves the Kaslo-Nelson-Salmo corridor -- is the authorized collection group. In the Trail, Rossland, Warfield, Fruitvale and Montrose area of the Kootenay Boundary Regional District, students from local elementary schools will be in charge of collecting the books.

If your residential area is not included in these collection programs, your telephone book can still be recycled at your nearest recycling drop-off centre. Please put your old phone books in the mixed paper category.

Despite being one of the easiest items to recycle (no washing or label removal required), less than half of the available telephone directories were returned for recycling in the Central Subregion of the RDCK in 1997.

According to BC TEL, about 20,000 telephone directories are distributed to the 366, 353, 229, 825, 352, 354, and 357 telephone exchanges in the Kaslo-Nelson-Salmo corridor. The Nelson Recycling Depot recycled 8,665 pounds of telephone books in 1997, the equivalent of 9,357 BC TEL directories.

This year, the Nelson depot is hoping to reach a new goal of 13,000 pounds of telephone books recycled, the equivalent of 14,558 BC TEL directories. Since we're already more than half way toward that goal, your cooperation in returning old books for recycling means the goal is reachable.

BC TEL phone directories are 100% recyclable, including the cover and binding thanks to the use of water-soluble glue. The phone books are also made with light weight, recycled paper using non-toxic vegetable oil based inks.

This BC telephone service provider is one of the leading environmentally-aware companies in the province. The firm has a strong seven point environmental policy which can be found on the directory recycling page of your BC TEL phone book.

The company's policy to deal with environmental issues at the time of purchase in preference to the time of disposal is especially appreciated by those in the waste reduction industry.

The directory recycling page of your telephone book also allows the Regional District of Central Kootenay to report on our previous year's recycling successes. Telephone numbers to reach your local recycling program can also be found on this page which is just before the first page of the white pages.

BC TEL is the only directory company to offer payment for the return of their old directories. This is a win-win situation for everybody. BC TEL gets the old phone books back and recycles them into a new year's phone book. The regional district has less garbage to bury, saving taxpayers money. A non-profit group gets paid for providing the collection service, thereby gaining additional revenue.

It is important to collect the phone books as quickly as possible so don't delay, recycle your directory today. And remember, there's no dime if it goes to the dump.

TRASH TIP - To produce one ton (2,000 pounds) of paper requires: 3,688 pounds of wood, 216 pounds of lime, 360 pounds of salt cake, 76 pounds of soda ash, 24,000 gallons of water and 28 million BTU's of energy. Utilizing recycled paper to make new paper saves 64% of the energy required, creates 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution, and saves 7,000 gallons of water.

All columns archived here are copyright © 1999 by Michael Jessen, all rights reserved. If you wish to print an individual column for your own use, please do so. If you wish to publish any of the columns in either print or electronic format, please contact the author at toenail@netidea.com to arrange appropriate payment.