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Is There Anything Green About Phone Books?

You bet there is!

There are many things about Valley Yellow Pages that are green. And we are continually looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact while offering consumers a valuable directory.

Truth About Yellow Pages

Trees and Yellow Pages green pages - divider

Trees are primarily harvested for lumber and used in housing and other building applications. The paper used in our phone books contains residual waste wood chips generated as a byproduct of converting a round tree into square, dimensional lumber.2

  • It is important to remember that trees are an infinitely renewable resource. That cannot be said about the resources used to create electronic equipment.
  • Four million trees are seeded daily in the United States. That’s five trees each year for every man, woman, and child in America.5
  • There are 12 million more acres of United States forestland today than 20 years ago. green pages - Wood for Chips

Phone books are 100% recyclable,3 they are easy to recycle and are not a significant part of the solid waste stream. Green Pages - Section Divider Green Pages - Kids Recycle
  • In fact, according to the EPA, DIRECTORIES comprise only 0.3% of the municipal solid waste stream, compared with 3.2% for Newspapers, 1.9% for Standard Mail, and 2.2% for High Grade Office Paper such as used in both commercial and residential printers.4

  • Inks used are 100% soy or vegetable oil-based and are biodegradable.

  • Glues used are non-toxic.

  • Phone books are recycled into many products such as new phone books, newsprint, insulation, acoustical ceiling tiles, drywall paper, and other paper products.

The process of recycling an outdated phone book couldn’t be easier. It’s as easy as placing it in a blue recycling can for curbside pick-up along with other recycling materials.

Generally, recycling centers gladly accept phone books and have no problem processing them further for recycling. Recycled Yellow Pages are then sold to other companies and turned into other products. And many people do recycle their old phone books when their new phone book is delivered.

While the internet provides a strong complement to the printed Yellow Pages, it is not necessarily free of environmental implications.4 Green Pages - Section Divider Green Pages - Stack of Computers

Let’s take a look...

  • E-waste represents about 25% of all waste in the U.S. landfills and 70% of toxic waste found there - Directories represent only 0.3%.
  • Only 14% of a computer’s components and materials can be recycled - Phone books are 100% recyclable.
  • Electronic waste in the U.S. amounts to three million tons and only 18% of that is recycled - 57% of all paper consumed in 2008 was recycled.
  • Web server data centers supporting the internet are using energy at an alarming 24% annual growth rate - U.S. paper and pulp industry has achieved a 42% reduction in energy use per product unit during the last 25 years.
  • About 62 trillion spam emails are sent every year. It takes energy to generate, screen and delete spam, contributing greenhouse gases equivalent to two billion gallons of gasoline.6 - That’s enough gas to power 8 million hybrid vehicles at 40 mpg 10,000 miles per year.
  • Americans throw out more than 130,000 computers and 350,000 cell phones everyday. The Yellow Pages are delivered once a year and are 100% recyclable.

Yellow Pages are used by consumers when they are ready to buy a product or service from local businesses. Green Pages - Section Divider

According to the most recent study by Burke, Inc: 8

  • 74% of people refer to the Yellow Pages every year.
  • 49% of people refer to the Yellow Pages every month.
  • 33% of people refer to the Yellow Pages every week.

Nearly 5 out of every 10 people use the Yellow Pages monthly. In the past year, there were 11 billion references to the printed Yellow Pages in the United States.

Yellow Pages give consumers a one-stop shop to find local business. Buying local protects local businesses which protects local jobs.

The small, independent business owners provide both tangible and intangible benefits that serve as the cornerstones of strong and vibrant communities. It is their personal service and presence that fosters the flow of local dollars to meet community needs.

Spending dollars locally ensures that 1% of the sales tax is allocated to local funding, used to pay for police and fire protection, local health clinics, zoos and parks, and children’s education. Green Pages - woman reading phone book

Valley Yellow Pages-Committed to Green

The Facts about Valley Yellow Pages and the Paper Industry

Valley Yellow Pages directories are 100% recyclable.1

Valley Yellow Pages directory paper is manufactured using only waste wood fiber.2

100% of inks contain soy and/or vegetable oils and pose no threat to soil or groundwater supplies.1, 3

Glue used to bind directories is non-toxic.1

The paper used to print our directories is just as important as the content they hold. Ensuring the paper we use is environmentally friendly is a major priority we take seriously.

Paper is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable.4

57% of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2008.4

The U.S. paper and pulp industry has had a 42% reduction in energy use per product unit in the last 25 years.4

99% of the chemicals used in the pulping process are recovered through internal recycling and then burned to produce steam energy.4 Green Pages - generic phone book

Recycled directories are used to make new phone books, newsprint, insulation, acoustical ceiling tiles, drywall paper, and other paper products.1

According to the EPA, in 2009 directories comprised of only 0.3% of the municipal solid waste stream, as compared to 3.2% and 1.9% for newsprint and regular mail respectively.5

4,000,000 trees are seeded daily in the U.S. That’s five trees each year for every man, woman, and child in America.4

There are 12,000,000 more acres of United States forestland today than 20 years ago.4

There are 13.2 million acres of old growth forest in the U.S. the vast majority of which will never be harvested due to legal and regulatory prohibitions.4 Green Pages Section Divider

Directory Lifecycle

Directory Lifecycle:

Every step of the directory lifecycle includes efforts to ensure the directory is environmentally responsible.

Environmentally Responsible Paper

Made from residual waste wood chips left over after trees are cut for lumber.

Fiber used to make paper is 100% certified to come from sustainably managed forests.

Environmentally Clean Printing

100% soy based and/or vegetable ink is less toxic and poses no threat to soil or groundwater supplies.

Glue used to bind directories is non-toxic. Ad proofing is managed digitally versus traditional mail. Green Pages - Directory Lifecycle

Reusable Yellow Pages

Recycled Yellow Pages are used to make new phone books, home insulation, roofing materials, and paper products including cereal boxes.

100% Recyclable

Valley Yellow Pages directories are 100% recyclable.

Recycling an old directory is as easy as using any blue recycling bin.

Many local companies also provide Yellow Pages recycling services (see directory Recycling Guide section for details).

Recycling the directory when it is outdated helps protect the environment, and recycled directories are used in the creation of other directories and many household items. Despite popular belief, many phone books are recycled and do not end up in landfills. Recycling rates for directories are improving and were up 21.4% in 2009 according to an EPA study.

Recycle Guide


Keeping communities informed and up-to-date with valuable information and quality business offerings is a top priority for Valley Yellow Pages. This is why every directory includes important community information including a . Green Pages - Recycle Guide

This guide outlines:

The importance of recycling

Where to dispose hazardous materials

What can be picked up with curbside collections

List of recycling drop-off locations

Each Recycle Guide is updated annually to provide the most accurate and current information available. Helping communities understand the importance of recycling and how to make recycling easier is an important effort in further protecting the environment. Whether it is a Valley Yellow Pages’ directory or other recyclable materials, encouraging appropriate waste responsibility protects both the planet and our communities.

View the Recycle Guide in your area

Environmentally Conscious Vendors


Valley Yellow Pages carefully selects the vendors used to produce their directories. Dedicated research is performed to choose companies who share the same environmental concern and offer products and services that are environmentally friendly. For this reason, Valley Yellow Pages is proud to work with Nippon Paper Industries USA (NPI USA) located in Port Angeles, WA to supply the paper used in our directories.

Did you know that over 89% of the energy we use to make paper comes from fossil fuel free sources? Nippon produces 2½ times less greenhouse gases than the average paper mill and we are still improving.

Manufacturing Green

As part of their commitment to manufacturing improvement, Nippon Paper Industries USA embarked on a new energy cogeneration project that will be online in 2013. This project will produce the most efficient energy sources for their mill utilizing very modern technologies. In addition, this project will produce 20 MW of renewable energy for use on the nation’s grid or at their paper mill.

"Over the last decade our engineer’s have reduced fossil fuel energy use by over 88% because of efficiency changes. This new cogeneration project will be three times more efficient than a typical power plant and reduce our impact on the environment with state-of-the-art controls." -Paul Perlwitz - Environmental Manager

"Nippon Paper Industries USA is committed to responsible stewardship of the environment and seeks to maintain a balance among our economic, environmental and social responsibilities. Our policy reflects our dedication to continual improvement of the mill’s environmental performance in all aspects of our business." -Harold Norlund- Resident Mill Manager, NPI USA

RR Donnelley Logo

Committed to protecting the environment, RR Donnelley strives to ensure they develop programs, practices, and resources to preserve the environment. They utilize pollution control services and print directories that are recyclable, made from recycled materials, printed with inks containing soy and/or vegetable oils, and produced with nontoxic glue. To date, there are no materials from the RR Donnelley waste system out of any directory line that they are not able to recover in some capacity.

To learn more about RR Donnelley visit their website at

Digital Directories


Providing a supplemental medium to our print directory, or an alternative resource for those preferring a non-printed directory, Valley Yellow Pages is pleased to offer a variety of digital directories.

Across a variety of the digital formats, Valley Yellow Pages continues to connect businesses and consumers by placing valuable information in the hands of the consumers whenever they need it. Green Pages - web shots is Valley Yellow Pages’ online directory. Offering the same advertiser and customer value as the printed directory, online searches allow users to view results in the familiar Yellow Pages format with multiple size ads or in a map format with a standard listing.

This site offers a user-friendly design with additional features beyond standard search to help users become informed and knowledgeable. Valley Yellow Pages’ provide detailed information to help you plan a wedding, complete home improvements, find a quality restaurant, receive health advice, and get tips on automotive help.

Resident site expert, Jeannie, is also available to show users around the site and highlight features and offerings unique to Valley Yellow Pages. Her informative guidance and wit are a refreshing addition to

Map views help you find businesses quickly and easily, while offering driving directions to help you get there. is a valuable resource in providing all the convenience of the printed Yellow Pages in a digitally rich, user friendly format.

Internet Yellow Pages usage continues to grow, over 20% in 2008, and is expected to double within the next five years. As smartphones gain popularity, users are becoming accustomed to easily accessing a wealth of information. Green Pages - Electronics

Mobile Apps

Finding local businesses on the go is quick and easy for mobile phone users. Valley Yellow Pages offers apps that make finding what you need quicker and easier while away from a computer.

The new apps offer user-friendly features that help you save time and locate local businesses like restaurants, mechanics, plumbers, and banks. This mobile format allows you to carry the value and convenience of the Valley Yellow Pages with you whenever you need it.

Visit the mobile webpage to view the advanced features of each app and download one today.

Recycling Yellow Pages


Recycling outdated Yellow Pages is an important step in helping protect the environment. As these directories are 100% recyclable, outdated Yellow Pages are recycled and used in a variety of other items such as home insulation, roofing materials, grocery bags, cereal boxes, paper products, and of course, to make new Yellow Pages. Green Pages - Recycling Guide

Recycling your Yellow Pages is easier than you think. Below are a few ways you can recycle or use an outdated directory.

1. Curbside Delivery - If your area provides a blue recycling can or bin, recycling the Yellow Pages is as simple as dropping it inside.

2. Recycling Centers - Many local recycling drop-off centers accept Yellow Pages directories. For a list of locations in your area see our Recycle Guide.

3. Create Compost - Instead of sending the directory away, the pages and the plastic bag can be shredded and used as compost to keep the weeds away.

4. Pack Them Up - Instead of using packing peanuts, crumple or shred the pages to be used as filler when moving or mailing a package. Green Pages - Fun Fact

Directory Opt-Out


If you prefer using the Valley Yellow Pages in a digital format or choose not to receive a printed directory, your name can be removed from the Valley Yellow Pages’ distribution list by simply visiting the link below.

Valley Yellow Pages cares about communities and listens when residents provide feedback. It is not good business to deliver directories to individuals who don’t want to receive them. If you prefer not to receive a directory, opt-out at the website above and records will be updated immediately.

1. RR Donnelley, Environmental Performance Letter, April 2010. 2. May 3, 2011, Paul Gordon (VP Directory Sales) at Catalyst Paper Corp. 3. Yellow Pages Association, Lessening our Environmental Impact 4. NewPages Corporation. Ed Booklet #13 on Paper and the Environment, 2009. 5. Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 6. McAfee The Carbon Footprint of Email Spam Report 7. Down to Earth, International Paper Company 8. Burke, Inc., Local Media Tracking Study, May 2011.

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