Students Recycle 1,600 Phone Books

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Phone books are one of those things that the internet is edging out, so elementary students in Lackawanna County started collecting them to be recycled.

A class of third graders from Clarks Summit Elementary blew off some steam between classes Wednesday by tossing more than 1,000 old phone books into a borough DPW truck.

The students collected them over the last few weeks, and they will go from the truck to be recycled, all 1,600 of them.

The students were learning about recycling leading up to Earth Day, but they were motivated by competition. The class to collect the most phone books won $100 for the classroom.

The winners were from David Temprine's third grade class, but they know the real beneficiary is Mother Earth.

"It's one of those things that's just sitting in everyone's house not really being used. So, I think it's great that they're going to be recycled now and turned into something that hopefully we can use," Temprine said.

The children exceeded expectations, collecting more than double the amount of phone books that DPW workers were prepared to accept. It will all benefit the borough. The books will be exchanged for cash at a recycling center in Scranton.

"If we can get these children involved in a project to see just how many trees are there on that truck. It's a valuable lesson," said Borough Councilwoman Patty Lawler.