Even though it's easy to look up local phone numbers online, sometimes it's just as quick to check a dead-tree version of the phone book. It seems like I get a new version of my neighborhood Yellow Pages every month, so I guess a lot of people are still using them. Updated phone books are great to have on hand, but what do you do with the old ones?
Phone Book uses(click thumbnails to view gallery)
In the last year, I've acquired enough to start a small landfill of my own, so here's what I do with the leftovers:
1) Whenever I get new books, I toss the old ones in the trunk or under the front seat of my car. When I'm out and about looking for the nearest frame shop, or some other obscure business I don't patronize very often, I just grab the Yellow Pages and find what I need.
2) Old phone books are great for spontaneous art projects with my kids. There are hundreds of pictures, logos and drawings they can cut out and glue onto construction paper.
3) I use the books to help my children learn to look up words and practice finding things from alphabetical lists. I give my youngest son easy words to look up (dog sitter, school supplies), while I challenge my older boys to find harder things like lava lamp repair, or the corporate phone number of the local grocery store chain.
4) Artist Robert Truscio came up with a way to turn old phone books into flip books
. Though I haven't tried this yet, it's on my list of things to do.
5) Of course, the most popular use for old phone books is still as an impromptu booster seat for kids!
If you'd simply prefer to get rid of the darn things, check with your local waste collection service, because not all will collect them for recycling. If yours doesn't, the local phone company should be able to tell you the best way to discard them in your area.