Success story — Nearly one million books saved from landfill

© Steven Brown
Emma Houston and Fiona Marshall from Better World Books with John Wincott

A Fife project has saved almost a million books from being eaten by real book worms.

Some 900,000 have been saved from going to landfill in the last four years, with the tremendous total of tomes collected instead in Better World Books’ Fife book banks.

Now the company, founded in Dunfermline in 2008, is seeking more books to support the work which it does in funding literacy and keeping books away from landfill.

There are 11 book banks located in Fife Council’s recycling centres which provide the book-loving public with a convenient way to drop off the old novels which they no longer need.

The books collected are then processed and sold online by Better World Books.

Every sale generates funding for the Scottish Book Trust to support the work it does in encouraging reading and writing.

Any books which aren’t sold are donated or recycled.

Since it was established it has raised more than £2.5 million for libraries and literacy, donated more than 300,000 books and reused or recycled in excess of 29 million.

Better World Books and Fife Council are working together to ensure that books are reused or recycled, creating a more sustainable environment in the kingdom.

Better World Books won the 2015 VIBES circular economy award because every book which reaches the organisation is kept out of landfill.

The council’s environment spokesman John Wincott offered a huge thank you to the people of Fife for supporting the scheme.

“By using the Better World Books book banks at our recycling centres, they have not only supported the Scottish Book Trust in improving literacy, but they have also helped reduce the amount of waste landfilled by over 300 tonnes, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

Martin Mullin, the head of UK sales for Better World Books, added: “We’re really pleased to be working with Fife Council, here on our doorstep.

“Over the last few years we’ve collected nearly a million books that otherwise could have gone to landfill.

“Thanks to the communities of Fife, we’ve been able to find new homes for these books.

“Every day we see the power of one book.

“So let’s collect another million books and make a real difference, one book at a time.”

Books across all categories in good condition or better can be donated but what cannot go into a book bank is any tome with missing or stained pages.

Book banks can be found at recycling centres in Dunfermline, Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath, Dalgety Bay, St Andrews, Cupar, Ladybank, Pittenweem, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and Methil.

To find your nearest book bank visit