Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Waste of resources ...

Every year, I get 3 big fat telephone books and yellow pages. This is despite the fact that I do not own a land line (although I did own one till about 2 years ago). Yesterday, I took all my phonebooks, some old magazines and some old newspapers and dropped them off at the local recycling center. Now, I ended up driving about 12 miles extra to drop off the stuff (which weighed about 45 lb, most of it was the phone books). It got me wondering ... was it worth going out of the way to drop it for recycling (as against just dumping it in the regular trash)?

I am trying to figure out answers to the following questions:
* The cost of the gas not withstanding, was the pollution from driving 12 miles justified by recycling 45 lb of paper?
* Why do I get those big fat phone books at all? I never even use them - whatever information I need I can get online! What a colossal waste ...
* Is there a better way for companies like AT&T or YellowBook to get money from companies who advertise in these publications and not dump so much garbage on society. Even if one believes that a good chunk of it gets recycled, its like trying to clean up a spill that never should have happened in the first place ...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments on the yellow page directories. You are not alone and there are many groups actively looking into how to reduce the waste from the antiquated yellow page books. There are regular updates on how to stop the books from being delivered. Ex: "YellowPage the Dinosaur."

http://blog.YellowDinosaur.net

Niket said...

You are a chemical engineer. You ought to know recycling is not the answer.

ken said...

Those books you say you never use actually got referenced over 13 billion times last year. And that’s just the print versions. 87% of all adults reference them at least once a year, 70% in a typical month, and 50+% on average month. How about on average 1.4X each week?

so you never use them?? Never?

ArSh said...

Ken's comment is interesting!

Well, th ephonebooks are mighty useful, and i guess the Indian BSNL is a little better at least in this matter. They do not automatically send across the books(well, let us not talk abt the reasons! ;)), secondly you get only one option for free, the printed book or the CD/DVD. If you want both, u need to pay and you do not get any for free if you are not a subscriber any more.
But it's good question of whether recycling really works.