Can You Recycle Yearbooks? (Ways to Dispose of)

Yearbooks are tangible memories that we keep. However, like every other book, their appearance depreciates over the years. And if you paid for your yearbook yearly, you probably have a huge collection you may be looking to dispose of.

Now, if you’re decluttering and want to get rid of the old yearbooks, you may really wonder the best way to go about it. Can you recycle yearbooks? Do you throw your yearbooks in the garbage or donate them?

Our focal point in this blog post is yearbooks. We’ll explore everything from how much it costs to make one to how you can dispose of it. So, stay right there!

Can Yearbooks Be Recycled?

Well, without a doubt, you can recycle your yearbooks. They’re made from paper, one of the most recyclable industrial materials. You can put your yearbook in the blue bin and they’ll be recycled when they get to the recycling center.

Let’s be honest; yearbooks may be among the most important books we own. But then, in a digital age where you can now store most memories on the cloud, we no longer need a stack of yearbooks to reminisce about the old days.

But thankfully, you don’t need to send them to landfills either. You can opt for recycling, which is a much safer way for disposing of these ancient friends.

Typically, most recycling centers will accept yearbooks, but you can call ahead to inquire to be double sure.

And, of course, before you put that yearbook in the curbside recycling bin, consider the type of cover it has. Remember that recycling, especially paper, is a delicate affair. A contaminant can ruin a batch, resulting in a waste of resources.

So, if it’s a hardback, you’ll have to take it apart before it becomes safe for recycling. But again, some recyclers accept the book that way, because they probably have a system where they separate the parts themselves, so ask about that as well.

And remember, you shouldn’t recycle your yearbook if it’s wet or has gone tan, and that’s owing to the natural delicacy of recycling paper. Instead, throw the wet yearbook in the trash can instead and it will decompose over time.

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Yearbook?

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Yearbook?

Well, it currently costs between $10 to $100 to print a yearbook. The actual cost of printing this book depends on the materials used, page count, printing technology, and whether or not it includes additional features.

On the materials used, one aspect that can cause a significant variation in cost is the type of binding you choose. The most expensive option is the Smyth Sewn hardcover, which is definitely more costly. But in return, it’s more durable, has the best quality, and provides a charming overall aesthetic.

Still on the materials you choose, the type of paper used for the yearbook can also significantly affect the overall cost.

Some schools opt for a matte finish or gloss-coated paper for their aesthetic appeal, while others work with synthetic papers for their unique properties. All these paper types cost more than uncoated papers.

Of course, on the number of pages, the more the pages the higher the cost, while a latter technology calls for a higher cost, thanks to better quality of output.

Supplemental additions can also cost you, and so will enhancements and improvements like head and foot bands, embossing, colored end sheets, and lamination.

Can You Throw Yearbooks in The Recycling Bin?

The straight answer is yes – you can put yearbooks in the recycling bin. But since recycling policies vary, we recommend checking with the recycling facility in your vicinity.

You may also inquire if you need to remove the hardcover. Some recyclers permit you to leave the binding on, perhaps because they have a system to deal with it. In other cases, you may need a utility knife to separate the yearbook pages from the hardcover binding.

Afterward, you can safely place it in the blue bin. But before recycling these books, we urge you to consider other options like donating them, upcycling, or doing the other hacks we’ll explore subsequently.

Can You Throw Yearbooks in The Garbage?

Yes, you definitely can throw yearbooks in the garbage and they will not harm the environment. Yearbooks are usually made of paper, which are biodegerable, meaning they will eventually break down without leaving a trace.

You see, paper decomposes much faster than most materials. In fact, once thrown away, within two to six weeks, fungus and bacteria responsible for decomposition will have broken it down.

But then, before you opt for this method of disposal, it’s essential to consider the kind of paper the yearbooks are made of.

Remember, some options are modified, making paper unsuitable for biodegradation in some cases. For instance, synthetic, treated or bleached paper isn’t the best for the environment and should be disposed of properly — at least not through the landfills.

In fact, unwanted yearbooks are better of not send to our landfills. There are alternative waste disposal options like recycling, composting, upcycling, and other sustainable methods.

Aside from taking significant space at landfills, some materials in yearbooks, especially the modified versions, can release toxic substances into the environment during biodegradation. That’s why if possible, just avoid adding these books to your trash bin.

In fact, since you can’t tell when the paper is unfit for the ecosystem, it’s best to consider environmentally safer options for getting rid of it.

Can You Donate Yearbooks?

Can You Donate Yearbooks?

You can donate yearbooks, but it may be challenging because someone else may not share your sentiments about them. Since you’re the one with the schooling experiences, getting someone who’d want to take them off your hands may be a hassle.

But in the same vein, you can donate them to your alma mater, especially if the yearbooks are dated. Chances are they have fewer copies, so an additional one will be welcome.

Historical societies and libraries may also be interested in your old yearbooks. Some organizations have taken it upon themselves to document or archive old yearbooks, and you can submit yours there.

Another way to put a smile on someone’s face with your old yearbooks is to snap, scan and upload snippets on Facebook. Your old schoolmates are likely to see them, and chances are you’ll find someone who couldn’t afford to purchase them back then.

You can offer to send the yearbooks to whoever wants them. And just like that, you’ll declutter your home, put a smile on your face, and protect the environment.

How to Recycle Old Yearbooks

If you’ve tried other environmentally friendly ways of disposing of your old yearbooks to no avail, you can consider recycling them. And recycling old yearbooks is a seamless process.

First, find out if your curbside recycling program is welcoming of it. If there’s no provision for recycling old yearbooks, you can use a recycling locator to find the nearest facility that accepts it.

Then, you may be required to remove the hardback; it depends on what it’s made from to avoid contaminating the materials in the recycling bin. Separating the hardcover is also straightforward, and you can use a utility knife to aid the process.

Once that’s done, you can either send them to the recycling facility or have them send person to pick them up depending on their way of operation.

10 Smart Ways to Dispose of Old Yearbooks

We all want to hold on to our fondest memories, but space is sometimes a factor. If you’ve got too many yearbooks, you’ll eventually consider reducing your collection. Recycling isn’t the only eco-friendly way to dispose of old yearbooks.

You can also get creative with your options, such as:

1. Give To Your Friends

Maybe all your friends didn’t buy yearbooks in high school because they couldn’t afford them or just didn’t want them. Check to see if they may have had a change of heart and would cherish the memories yearbooks bring.

So, you can reach out to your friends to inquire if they’d be interested in old yearbooks.

Your School Library

2. Your School Library

Know another awesome organization that may accept your yearbooks? Well, it’s your school library.

Most schools collect and archive yearbooks for reference sake; when you feel the need to dispose of them, email or ring up your alma mater to find out if they’re accepting yearbooks.

Tell them the publishing date of the yearbooks in your possession.

3. Sell It

Some people get paid for their yearbooks. That’s right; you can sell your yearbook and collect $25 for it at

Alternatively, you can sell them at reunions. Auction websites also exist for sales like this, but they’re more successful for notable people and celebrities.

Sites like Amazon and eBay also connect buyers and sellers, so you also can consider them.

4. Thrift It

Thrift stores are notable for collecting pre-loved items, and they can be anything! You can visit the nearest one to inquire if they’ll purchase your yearbooks. Alternatively, use the internet to find the closest thrift store that accepts yearbooks.

5. Make Gift Tags

An artsy idea is to make gift tags out of the old yearbooks. Use a punch card to cut out the tags and customize it. It’s an awesome label when you’re giving gifts to old schoolmates.

6. Turn It Into Art

You can invoke your creative side by doing something artsy to your old yearbooks. For instance, you can snip out your favorite memories, frame them, and hang them somewhere. This is also a wonderful gift idea for old friend groups and colleagues.

Here’s another option – make those framed artsy pieces and sell them at your next reunion! Who says you can’t dispose of your old yearbooks without making some additional bucks off them?


7. Museums

Some museums accept old yearbooks, particularly if they have notable figures. Since a museum exists to preserve history, inquire if the one closest to you accepts yearbook donations.

8. Genealogy Groups

Genealogy groups are essentially concerned about preserving lineages and keeping history alive. It doesn’t even have to be centuries ago – history as far back as decades ago will suffice.

You can contact a genealogy group to inquire if they’d accept your old yearbook. Even if they don’t collect them because of you, other interesting figures may prompt them to take the yearbooks off your hands.

9. Scan it

Before disposing of your old yearbooks, we recommend scanning them if some pages depict dear memories, scan and save them to the cloud to avoid regrets.

It can be class pictures, pictures of you in clubs or societies, or your classmates parting words. Thanks to technology, memories are sweet, but they don’t need to take up space anymore.

10. Recycle it

The blue bin is always welcoming of old yearbooks. As such, if you don’t find someone who wants to buy or collect it, put it in the recycling bin.


You don’t have to keep your yearbook if you don’t want it. And there are plenty of ways you can dispose of it in an environmentally acceptable manner. We’ve explored them in this blog post, so make informed decisions.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.