5 Unique Ways of Recycling Books!

Old books ready to be recycled

Books have always been a part of our life, one way or another. They have significant importance in our lives because we get to learn so much from them. There are millions of books printed each year that we read and gain knowledge from.

But, what happens after that? What happens when we are done reading them? That is the problem that should also be given importance. It is estimated that 640,000 tons of books land in the landfills every year as solid waste!

How astonishing is that? The people living in third world countries do not even have enough books to read and study from. Because of this, they are deprived of the basic human right to education. Whereas, there are countries who are disposing of tons of books because they do not need them.

As we are done with our studies, we do not want the weight of books in our house which makes them end up in a landfill. Landfills are not the end, the books stay there for hundreds of years before they degrade.

Hence, the right way is to not dispose them of. Instead, find ways to reuse them. Below are some ways mentioned through which you can put your books to use.

How to Recycle Books?

1. Donate the Books

Donation in general is a great to do and makes you feel at the top of the world! One of the best ways of reusing your old books is to donate them. So that, someone else can use them and gain knowledge from your donated books.

Instead of selling them or looking for book recyclers, you can easily donate your books to the one who needs them.

The ideal way is to donate the books to your local community center or a local library. Or, find an organization that gives out books and magazines for free to the underprivileged population who can not afford to buy them.

This population can be found within the country and outside as well. Keeping the carbon footprint in mind, it is better to donate locally. But, if you will be able to help the population of third world countries, that is an amazing act in itself.

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Also, consider opening a free little library as part of your book donation agenda, outside your house or in the garage. Free books will benefit a lot of people.

2. Trade Books

Trading books is also one of the great ways of putting your old books to use. This will not let them end up in the landfills, increasing the yard waste.

Additionally, trading books means giving a book and getting a book in return. Be it novels or school study books. If you are a student, this is a perfect fit for you. You can make a group online or in person, add fellow younger and older students in it and then propose your idea of trading academic books with each other.

It will really be beneficial for you all. You will not have to spend on books trading them with each other as and when needed. Additional benefit is that you can get study tips from seniors and mentor the younger ones.

Through trading of books, you might end up helping someone who urgently needs one of your unwanted books. Or, you trade books with someone who can not afford to buy a new one. Moreover, it is possible that you may get to read a great book that becomes your favourite and is a welcome addition to your collection.

3. Selling Your Books

Selling something for cash is always a great idea. It is a good way of getting some extra money. Plus, you get to experience dealing with buyers and potential buyers. in addition to cash it earns you an experience of doing and managing a business.

If there are any book sales happening in your area or any neighbourhood, you should definitely put up your stall there and sell your old books. You can even just visit the book sale and trade your old book for a new one.

Nowadays, the young generation is more of an online generation. Often referred to as the E-generation. And because we belong to the E-generation, the social media is a great platform for us to sell our old books.

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Through social media, one is able to target a huge audience and this will make the selling of books easier and faster. Facebook has ‘Facebook Marketplace’ where you can conveniently make a post about your books with a list and attach photos too.

Furthermore, the local bookshops in your area are also a great option to sell to. If your old books are in good condition, the local bookshops who keep secondhand stuff will be happy to buy from you. Some bookshops may give you cash for your books and some may give you store credit.

Both are great options, depending upon your preference.

4. Repurpose Books

This one is for the creative ones out there!

Use your old books to repurpose them into something else which is unique and different. Always try to make something practical out of it rather than just decorative.

Pinterest is an amazing website where you can brainstorm and gather a lot of fabulous ideas.

One of the cutest ideas is to take the pages of a book and turn them into envelopes. They look very classic! You can also use the pages as gift tags.

Repurposing books will save them from being sent to the landfills and hence, landfills will not overflow and not harm the environment. Plus, this is the best time to put your imagination into reality.

5. Curbside Recycling Programs

Some of the old books are not in good condition because of the way they were stored or due to the fact that they have been used a lot. Therefore, these kinds of books should be tossed in the correct curbside recycling bin.

Moreover, if you could go a little extra then try to remove the hardcovers of the books. This is so because hardcovers have plastic, glue, and thread kind of materials in them. So, it is best that they are moved before going in the recycling bin.

If the area you live in does not have curbside recycling programs then you can always send the books to recycling depots which are near to you.

Where to Recycle Books?

Without any doubt, the best and the most ideal way to recycle your old books is to donate them. But, if you do not want to make it difficult and take the easy way out, you can always give them away at a recycling center.

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Many people avoid the hassle of transportation, shipping, and most importantly, finding the right place for donating the books. Therefore, they choose to rather give it away at recycling centers.

A recycling center knows what to do with the textbooks and if they have hardcovers on them, they know the correct way of catering for them. Many people prefer to just dump them in trash. We should definitely avoid that and not be one of those people.

Book recycling centers are professionals as they are able to make new paper out of the old one. The process is about tearing the pages from the books. Then those teared pages are turned into scraps of paper. After which they are put into huge processing machines.

The next step is to add water in the processors and blend until it turns into a smooth pulp-like form. Then this pulp is added in the mould and deckle and put into water. Moreover, the screen side of the deckle is faced up while placing it in the water.

Further, the deckle is lifted until the water is drained out completely through the holes. If any excess water is left, a sponge is used to dab it. When the paper is damp, it is hung on the drying ropes for drying.

When it has completely dried, the paper is ready to be used as new!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Encyclopaedias be recycled?

Ans. The covers of encyclopaedias are generally made up of different materials. These include leather, cloth, thick paper, etc.

There is a chance that these hardcover books can contaminate the recycling streams at the recycling center.

If you are able to remove the covers (front and back) before giving it away in a recycling center, then it is good to go!

2. Do I have to book a slot at a local recycling center?

Ans. Yes. If you want to give your books in a local recycling center, then you have to book a slot with them prior to going. This has to be done in order to avoid any difficulties.

Such as they being overloaded with stuff and may not be accepting more books for recycling at that moment.

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