We had a fundraiser garage sale for teacher appreciation at Wesley School last weekend and after the event there were a lot of books left over.
Many of the books were very old, outdated teaching styles, or in poor condition so we ended up recycling many of them. The rest went to a Little Free Library in my neighborhood. The books could have also been donated to the Austin Public Library’s Recycled Reads bookstore. If you do not live in Austin, old books can be donated to public libraries, Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood, schools, or craft groups for projects. Always ask first because there are so many books in the world and most libraries are pretty full already. I know Recycled Reads hosts workshops where they reuse old books for art projects that always look amazing!
Per Austin Resource Recovery:
If books are still in usable condition, please try other options for reuse rather than recycling.
Paperback or soft-covered books can be recycled in the blue cart. Hardcover books must have the hard covers removed before they can be recycled in the blue cart (the cover is trash).https://www.austintexas.gov/department/austin-resource-recovery
I pulled out three types of books from those going into the recycling bin that needed additional processing:
- Plastic dust jackets
- Metal spirals
- Google eyes or texture for small kids
Plastic book jackets just need to be removed. The plastic is cellophane so it goes in the trash.
Once the plastic is removed, the book can be recycled in a standard recycling bin after removing and trashing the cover (see above).
Metal spirals on books need to be separated from the paper. Mixed items cannot be recycled as-is. I pulled all the pages off by hand and since I could not get the paper off the spiral, I threw the spiral in the trash. If I could have removed the paper, I would have recycled the metal spiral in scrap metal. Perhaps soaking it in water would have melted the paper? I’ll try that next time.
This chick book had a fluffy stomach and big google eyes. Both of which cannot be recycled with paper. I ripped off the stomach and threw it in the trash. I was able to pull off the big google eyes cleanly so I will be able to reuse those on a craft project. My kindergartener is so excited to reuse these eyes! They’re so big!
Did I miss any types of books?
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