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Phone book considered obsolete, but still comes to your door

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Take a look at this giant heap of paper material ready to be recycled. All of this is made up of phone books dumped by people in Phoenix.

While many haven't even looked at a phone book in years, they still keep arriving at your door. But why?

Phone books used to be one of the most popular books in the house. But now with smart phones and the internet, hey don't seem to have much use anymore.

But as outdated as they may be -- they're not going away anytime soon.

It's that time of year again when front porches aren't just decorated with jack o'lanterns -- but also the phone book.

A throwback to a by-gone era that doesn't seem to go away -- and doesn't seem to be very popular.

"We have the internet; it's a waste of paper. I recycle it, that's pretty much all I get to do with it," says Melinda McWenie.

"We recycle them. We've never even opened them. I think last time, we recycled them. We threw them in, in the bag," says Debra Railing-Young.

And she's not alone. Take a look at the piles of phone books waiting to be recycled at this transfer station in north Phoenix.

And this is only a fraction of what will soon be coming in.

Last year alone the city of Phoenix recycled 830,000 pounds of phone books. That's 415 tons that went right into people's recycle bins.

"It makes me a little angry. Cause it's a lot of paper and what are we all talking about, recycling and cutting down and being green. And we all get a phone book that what, 80 percent of us probably don't use," says McWenie.

So why do we still get them? Because phone companies are required to provide directories by the Arizona Corporation Commission, like it or not.

"You know what we did with these even in high school? The boys tore them to show how strong they were. So I don't even know if we looked at them in high school, and that was 10-15 years ago."

To tear a phone book is not an easy feat.

"Fail. Well, we're not in high school anymore!"


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