Recycle, don't toss, old telephone books

July 14, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Each year, Sprint delivers more than 90,000 telephone books to homes and businesses around Franklin County and residents have a chance to get rid of their old directories, help the environment and improve literacy.

"We've collected 160 tons of phone books since 1993," said Phil Wolgemuth, a planner with the Franklin County Planning Office, which administers the county's recycling programs. "Last year, we collected 20 tons of books."

At about 21/4 pounds each, that translates into about 18,000 Sprint Yellow Pages books that did not end up in either of the two landfills in the county. That does not mean, however, that the books do not end up in the ground.


"They're delivered to the Peckman Homestead Farm and those guys grind them up into animal bedding," Wolgemuth said.

"We've been chopping paper for over 10 years," Lowell Peckman said during a recent break from chores on the St. Thomas, Pa., farm. He said the farm uses a tub grinder to shred the phone books and other recyclable paper into bedding for the dairy herd.

Once the animals have made use of the paper bedding, Peckman said it is used as mulch on the farm's cornfields.

"It turns back into the soil where it started," Peckman said.

The Peckman farm uses about a ton of paper a day for bedding, according to Wolgemuth.

There are 10 locations throughout Franklin County where people can take phone books for recycling between now and Aug. 31, but those who wait until Aug. 2 will be able to help the Franklin County Literacy Council.

Sprint will donate $1 to the literacy council for the first 4,000 books turned in from 8 a.m. to noon that day, according to Yvonne Butts-Mitchell.

During the past two years, the company has held similar drives and donated $3,000 each time to the literacy council, she said.

This year, to mark the 10th year of phone-book recycling, Butts-Mitchell said the company has upped its pledge to a maximum of $4,000.

Drop-off points

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Sprint Yellow Pages telephone books can be recycled at the following locations during the listed days and times through Aug. 31:

  • Chambersburg Mall, Interstate 81, Exit 20, Scotland, Pa., container near the theater entrance, mall hours only.

  • Franklin County Planning Commission, 218 N. Second St., Chambersburg, drop off weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Weis Market, 1056 Wayne Ave., Chambersburg, container in parking lot, 24 hours.

  • AC&T Fast Gas, North Antrim Way, Greencastle, Pa., container in parking lot north of store, 24 hours.

  • Mercersburg (Pa.) Borough Building, 113 S. Main St., container in parking lot behind building, 24 hours.

  • Pleasant Hall Fire Department, 9722 Cumberland Highway, Pleasant Hall, Pa., drop off at the Activity Center lobby, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Food Lion, 300 S. Fayette St., Shippensburg, Pa., container in parking lot, 24 hours.

  • Waynesboro (Pa.) Mall, East Main Street, container in parking lot, 24 hours.

  • Washington Township Recycling Center, Pa. 16, east of Waynesboro, Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

  • Fannett-Metal Elementary School, Path Valley Road, Willow Hill, Pa., drop off at the lobby, Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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