NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic phone books are now recycled into envelopes that customers use when they pay their phone bills. This innovative recycling program has earned the New York State Governor's Waste Reduction and Recycling Award.
The award is the third environmental honor for Bell Atlantic companies in the past year. It was presented today by New York Governor George Pataki to Bob Graham, president, Bell Atlantic Directory Services, in ceremonies at the governor's office in Albany, N.Y.
"We are honored to be recognized for our environmental efforts," said Graham. "We are especially proud of our record because we are minimizing the impact of our products on the environment while creating a market for our own recycled products. This is an approach, that if followed by others, could prove to have significant economic as well as environmental benefits."
The governor's awards recognize outstanding efforts in reducing and recycling solid wastes that benefit communities and the environment.
Bell Atlantic worked with the U.S. Postal Service, a paper supplier and an envelope manufacturer to create envelopes made from 100 percent recycled paper, 50 percent of which comes from old telephone directories. As one of the largest mailers in New York state, Bell Atlantic sends more than 96 million recycled envelopes to customers here each year. Bell Atlantic customers in New York and throughout New England use these envelopes to pay their phone bills. The company then recycles the envelopes again. The bill return envelopes represent just one of a number of potential end uses for old telephone directories that Bell Atlantic has identified and helped develop over the years.
In addition to the New York governor's award, the governor of Vermont honored NYNEX (now Bell Atlantic) for this same project late last year. In October, Bell Atlantic won the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in Pennsylvania for the company's comprehensive environmental program, including recycling old telephone equipment.
Bell Atlantic companies have a history of environmental initiatives:
- In 1992, NYNEX reduced the size of its telephone directories, resulting in a five percent annual savings on paper for directories.
- In 1994, NYNEX became the first telecommunications company in the country to print their bills on both sides of the paper, reducing paper consumption for bills by 32 percent.
- In 1995, NYNEX was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWi$e Program as one of the top 20 U.S. companies for waste reduction efforts and also won the New England Council Award for Excellence in Environmental Management.
- Today, Bell Atlantic has a representative on the statewide steering committees for America Recycles Day and the Buy Recycled Alliance of New York.
The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.8 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.