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Dispose of old phone books the right way
Keep Liberty Beautiful
0109 Phonebook
Old phone books can be recycled instead of filling up landfills. - photo by Photo provided.

I love the first of the year. It is fresh. It is a really good time to throw out the old and bring in the new. Phone books are a good place to start. The new ones should be here in a few days and the old ones must look pretty raggedy by now. It is time to give that old book the boot and make room for a new book in your life. But don’t just toss them in the trash. Turn your phone books in so they can be recycled.
Local phone books can contain more than 800 pages of paper that can be recycled into other useful paper products. That is about a pound and a half of paper in each book that can be recycled. Just think how many trees would be saved if every household and business in Liberty County recycled their phone books. That’s a lot of paper!
This week we will put out collection boxes around town as drop-off sites for your recycling convenience. Please do not toss those old phone books or those big, fat sales catalogs in your garbage can. Drop-off sites will include municipal and government offices as well as a few other spots.

Drop-off locations are:
• Liberty County Courthouse annex lobby, Hinesville
• City Hall lobby, Hinesville
• City Hall lobby, Midway
• City Hall lobby, Riceboro
• City Hall porch, Walthourville
• City Hall lobby, Flemington
Local businesses and industries are also encouraged to collect their old phone books and business catalogs. Until Feb. 15, we will be happy to arrange a courtesy pickup for any businesses with a substantial number of phone books and sales catalogs to be recycled. Just call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 to arrange a pickup for your company.
If you are not convinced that recycling paper can make a difference, consider these facts:
• Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
• In 2006, a record 53.4 percent of the paper consumed in the United States was recovered for recycling. That is more than 53 million tons recycled.  That 53 percent is certainly impressive, but that means that another 50 million tons are still going into landfills. What a waste!
• More than 36 percent of the fiber used to make new paper products in the United States now comes from recycled sources. Using these recycled sources not only saves all those trees, it saves energy, too.
• Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
• Many paper products can be recycled several times — up to six times for many items. What an opportunity to extend the life of these resources!
Help us keep these recyclable items out of our landfills. Recycle your phone books and business catalogs this month. Our collection boxes will be available through Feb. 15.
Georgia Arbor Day is coming up on the third Friday of February. This year, let’s recycle all paper products as much as possible and also plant as many trees as possible in the next month to keep our forests and “urban forests” flourishing!

Here are some events you need to know about:
• Jan. 15-Feb. 15: Phone book recycling. KLB will set up collection boxes around the county for recycling phone books and large catalogs. For information, call 880-4888.
• Feb. 18: Georgia Arbor Day
• Feb. 19: Recycle It! Fair for electronics, household hazardous waste items and selected household goods. Call KLB at 880-4888 or e-mail for more information.

Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

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