In a recent post, I talked about making money by recycling aluminum cans.
This time, it’s about phone books.
I always feel bad when I see people throwing away the giant phone books left in front of their doors. I try to recycle mine whenever I can. I even called and opted out, but I keep getting them.
To be honest, I don’t know of many people who use phone books anymore. With smartphones and all the apps that make finding everything a snap, I think it’s a waste of time and resources to continue making these.
According to a recent survey done for WhitePages, 7 out of 10 people said they never even open their phone books anymore.
Anyway, I have been thinking about this issue for a while. So I did some research and came up with a few ways you can turn your old unused phone books into cash (albeit not much).
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Here are a few ways for those who need a little extra reward beyond being green and feeling good about themselves helping to keep the planet greener, to make a few dollars out of the giant (and to me, useless) phone books:
What will I learn?
1. Make Art
If you have a little creativity in you, you can actually make cool and useful things out of phone books. Consider things like pen organizers, picture frames, ornaments, etc.
A quick research on art and craft related sites can fetch you lots of cool art ideas. For example, check out this guide on how to create a pen organizer out of a phone book.
You can sell your handiwork at your local craft market, on eBay, Craigslist, or better yet on art related sites like Etsy, ArtFire, and Zibbet.
2. Make Fire Starter
I know it sounds like a weird way to make money recycling, but it’s doable.
You can shred phone books turning it into fire starter. Balled-up paper is an excellent fire starter for fireplaces and fire pits.
3. Make Garden Mulch
Paper works great as mulch in the garden.
Of course, to make this a worthwhile project you will need lots of paper. But the good thing is that you don’t just have to rely on phone books, you can recycle newspaper, old books, etc as well.
4. Sell to Collectors
Believe it or not, there are people who collect old phone books. Some even sell them to researchers who use these for researching regional and family history.
Gwillim Law is a long time collector who makes money by selling old phone books on his now famous website OldTelephoneBooks.com.
And with the right one you can earn a handsome payment. Learning about what’s worth what will help you spot worthy phone books better.
5. Get Reward Points for Them
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making things out of unused phone books or finding people to sell them to, you can open an account with RecycleBank.
This is a company that gives you reward 2.5 points for every pound of paper you recycle. You can recycle up to 180 pounds every month through their Home Recycling program.
Once you have enough points, you can redeem your points for a variety of prizes such as gift cards from hundreds of online and offline stores.
Collecting Enough Phone Books
You can’t get too far with a few phone books lying around your house. If you want to take this one step further, make a plan to gather as many as you can.
Check out your local businesses, stores, apartment complexes, etc. Get in touch with the person in charge and offer to pick their old phone books. Find out the cycle of phone book deliveries for these places so you know when to go pick them up.
Many of these places will happily comply since it’s cluttering their lobbies with something that no one really uses anymore. You may even be able to charge them a small fee for recycling their old phone books.
Needless to say, this isn’t something that’s going to make you lots of money. But I think it’s a great way to recycle and make some extra money at the same time.
Do you have any other idea on how to recycle and possibly make money with phone books?…
Share your thoughts