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As a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in West Africa I would like to say DON'T 
send your "discards".  I saw boxes of HEAVY books sitting in storehouses molding.  
Books on microwave cooking, yes, and worse.   Shipping books is EXPENSIVE...send 
them the money that postage will cost you and have them buy appropriate books from 
neighboring countries.  That will help both their economies and provide reading 
material for the students/public that is appropriate.  The books I saw had been 
delivered by U.S. military ship...the transport was "free"  (can you say TAX 
DOLLARS) but the labor was high.
  I taught an elementary class in Sierra Leone...they had donated readers from the 
1960s.  Dick & Jane went on a picnic.  Try to explain to kids living in a village 
dressed in rags why US kids would pack up food and walk out into the "bush" to sit 
and eat a meal.  We could buy EXCELLENT readers from nearby Liberia for 
pennies...when the pennies could be found.  The cost of shipping ONE 40 pound box 
to Africa would have bought readers for an entire school.
  I, too, have learned not to drop my "removed from collection" materials in the 
nearby dumpster.  They tend to return.   We do have a recycling center 30 miles 
away.  When I have a truck load, I hall them in.  No need to strip out barcodes or 
cross out stamps.  Those books are chopped up and used in place of new paper/trees. 
 I believe the gas used in the truck is no more than would be used by the dumpster 
pick up.  My time is the only added "expense".  BOX up those old things (so noone 
can look through 'em) and ask the local boy scouts haul 'em to recycling as a 
service project.  
  Wasting good books?  Do you know what Barnes & Noble and Walden's do with paper 
backs that don't sell?????   The RIP OF THE COVERS and put the book in the 
dumpster.  The covers are sent back to publisher as proof of nosale.  Those 
companies don't want to spend $$$ on postage for heavy, unsold paperbacks.  I have 
seen DICTIONARIES tossed out that were a year old because a new edition was to be 
sold in their place.
  Love books, but you gotta have priorities.
  B. Waters
  Western CUSD #12 school
  Barry, Illinois

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