Can One Parking Spot Help Change the World? We Think So.

Did you know that 2 billion pounds of books each year are sent to landfill? And that 30 million people (that’s 1 in 7 adults) are functionally illiterate.

We have a way to help decrease those numbers.  It’s our Better World Books Drop Box program! The program is completely free and provides a much needed outlet for pre-loved books otherwise destined for landfill.  Businesses and organizations that host a Drop box on their property raise funds for literacy and education in their community while bringing well-ready visitors to their property again and again.

Books brought to a host’s Drop Box are sorted by Better World Books.  After sorting we ensure each book is put to its highest and best use.  First we sell the books we can on betterworldbooks.com and 50+ online and offline marketplaces.  Those that can’t be sold are donated.  Those that can’t be donated are recycled.

A percentage of every book sold supports literacy and education.  In addition, for every book sold on betterworldbooks.com one is donated, Book for Book.

Better World Books programs, including our Community Drop Box program have collectively raised over $11 million dollars, donated over 6 million books, reused or recyled over 70 million books and provided over $200,000 in grants.

One parking spot can help change the world.

How it works

  • Businesses and organizations choose a site on their property (the BWB drop box takes up less than half a parking space)
  • We place, service and maintain the Drop Box (we will ensure that the area immediately around the box is kept clean)
  • Most Drop Boxes have fill-level sensors for remote monitoring.  Additionally, we provide phone, email and texting options for people to notify us when the Drop Box is full.  Hosts can also notify us via facebook or twitter which we monitor throughout the day.
  • We then sort the books we receive from the box, sell what we can through betterworldbooks.com and on our additional 50+ online and offline marketplaces. Books that cannot be sold are lovingly donated or properly recycled.
  • Each month, a percentage of every book sold will go to the host and a percentage to our literacy partners at home and abroad (Drop Box hosts choose which pre-approved non-profit will benefit!).

Big green success

To date we have 527 drop box locations and counting. So far, these are all located in metro-Atlanta and Northern Indiana. We are thrilled to announce that the drop box program is now going national!

Some examples of current locations:  Atlantic Station, Boys and Girls Clubs, Red Cross Center, Keep Beautiful Clubs, City Halls, Fire Departments, Agnes Scott University, DeVry University, Emory University, St. Mary’s College, Decatur High School, The Westminster Schools, Esther Jackson Elementary School, Otwell Middle School, Farmer D Organics, Gwinett Country Public Libraries, Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity and some of the most busy intersections in Atlanta and South Bend.

We also partner with organizations with a national reach such as Brixmor, United Way, Whole Foods, ddr, Regency Centers and Sperry Van Ness.

We are looking for new locations at venues such as shopping centers, local businesses, dentists, grocery stores, government buildings, gyms, museums, libraries, recycling centers, banks, community centers, religious institutions, ice cream shops, apartment complexes, storage centers, recreation centers, gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores, fast food restaurants, hotels and urban agriculture centers.

Thanks to a few feet in hundreds of parking spaces, amazing things are happening. We are able to help rehabilitate and educate former child soldiers in Uganda, build libraries throughout the developing world, train teachers across the globe, donate books and give grants to schools and libraries around our planet, and bring families together around books in America through the support of our partners at Invisible Children, Room to Read, Worldfund, Books for Africa, the National Center for Family Literacy and Feed The Children. The Drop Boxes also help us support local public library systems, United Way, Keep Beautiful, childhood cancer research, local literacy councils, public schools and education foundations.

Together, with your half a parking spot, your neighbors unwanted books and our logistics and retail support, we will help change the world one parking spot at a time!  

4 Comments

  1. Tom Sartwell says:

    It sadens me that so many books are lost. Reading has brought me through the worst times in my life and feed my mind as nothing else can. I shop B.W.B. and recomend you to all my friends. Thank you for your truly invaluable services!

  2. Laura Shoemaker says:

    I am wondering if my husband can have one at his business in Holland, MI? I love BWB and I would love to help. I know we are 2.5 hrs away from South Bend. Would it be possible?

  3. Nancy Whelan says:

    Your projects warm my heart. I don’t suppose you have drop boxes in the far north – i.e.Canada?! However in our small community of Oceanside, comprising a small city, a small town, and numerous adjoining rural settings on the shores of Vancouver Island, we do have The University Women’s Club which collects our books in a mall drop box,etc., has a massive 2-day sale every October, and uses the proceeds for promoting literacy, providing scholarships,and such. Luckily, our books enjoy a series of comfortable homes and exciting lives.

  4. REALLY wish the airports would do this. Ours had a suggestion box before recent renovations but I had no reply. They have perspex pillars into which odd bits of foreign currency can be donated for UNICEF or whatever; I think they need one for books. Every so often one encounters significant delays in travel; for me that means anything up to 2kg of books read while I’m waiting for the plane. Then what? Carrying them with me to donate to a thrift shop elsewhere doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Additionally, a lot of people have very good quality books to donate – there are bookshops every airport, but even if I’ve spent $30 on a paperback I’m unlikely to want to carry it around the world if I’ve just read it. I HATE having to bin them. (NB if its a great read – I carry prepaid postal envelopes on long trips and post back to friends/family I expect to like the book. Some airports haven’t a postbox either, though.) If its somewhere BW doens’t operate I am sure that the local charity bookfair or outlet would collect.

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