United States – Remember phone books? At a time when 50.8% of US citizens rely on their mobile phones rather than on the traditional land line, Caldwell Zoo in Texas has thought of a unique way to grant free access to its animal kingdom: it’s handing out tickets for every phone book visitors hand in at the gate for recycling.
Unwanted phone books can be exchanged for admission to the zoo on September 30 and October 1.
‘Any phone book from any year can be used for admission,’ points out Alex Farrel of Caldwell Zoo’s education department. ‘Not a lot of people use phone books today. This is an easy way to encourage and remind people of the need to recycle.’
The phone books will be packaged and delivered to a local recycling plant for processing. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the zoo’s Phone Book Recycle Days programme run by the its administration and the non-profit Caldwell Foundation.
To further boost recycling rates, the zoo has placed collection bins for broken or unwanted cellular phones at its entrance. Funds collected from salvaging these phones will go towards rhino conservation.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, only 40% of all phone books were recycled in the USA in 2015 while some 410 000 tons of them were either incinerated or landfilled, costing US citizens and local governments upwards of US$ 60 million.
American consumers are hardly using traditional phone books anymore.