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Product Stewardship Institute, Inc.
29 Stanhope Street
Boston, MA 02116
Calculations of Cost to Dispose and Recycle Phone Books in the United States
PSI estimates that it costs approximately $75-$100/ton to collect, transport, and dispose (through landfilling or incineration) of telephone directories in the U.S. In addition, the cost to collect, transport, and recycle phone books in the U.S. is approximately $50-75/ton on average. This information is found in the 2007 Product Stewardship Action Plan for Phone Books (see page 8).
Using the 2009 U.S. EPA telephone book generation estimate of 650,000 tons, local governments spend approximately $41 million per year to dispose of 410,000 tons of phone books and $18 million to recycle 240,000 tons, for a total estimated cost of $59 million per year.
EPA Data Source: "Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2009 Facts and Figures," page 40, U.S EPA.
PSI Estimate (using high end rates)
Cost to collect, transport, and dispose
$100/ton * 410,000 (tons) = $41,000,000
Cost to collect, transport, and recycle
$75/ton * 240,000 (tons) = $18,000,000
Total estimated cost
$41,000,000 + $18,000,000 = $59,000,000