Two cities are pursuing legislation to ban or restrict distribution of the Yellow Pages, as the directory publishers themselves launch a website to help customers opt out of deliveries.
In San Francisco, Board of Supervisors president David Chu is leading the push to ban the books, which he says are wasteful and becoming obsolete.
Chu has proposed prohibiting Yellow Pages distributors from leaving them on doorsteps without advance permission. Distributors could be fined up to $500 for each violation.
“If we’re serious about the environment, it’s time we recognize that phone books are a 20th century tool that doesn’t meet the business or environmental needs of the 21st century,” Chu told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) yesterday launched an upgraded website, www.yellowpagesoptout.com, to allow consumers to opt out of some or all Yellow Pages deliveries.
It’s pretty easy to navigate. You register. They send you a password. You sign in with your e-mail address and copy the password over, then you get to choose which directories you want. I think there were NINE directories I was able to opt out of for my address in New Haven.
Of course there is a disclaimer:
You must agree to the disclaimer in order to continue.
Thank you for your selections. … If you selected to opt out of a directory and your selection is made within 6-12 weeks of the directory’s publication date you may still receive the next edition. Should this happen, your request will be processed before the next publication date and you will no longer receive the directory. …
Now if someone would step up and create the same opt-out (or an opt-in) system for the delivery of those pesky inches of newspaper coupons and advertisments we receive in our mailboxes every week and have, for decades, lovingly referred to as “JUNK MAIL,” we could save someone millions upon millions of dollars in paper costs and millions and millions of trees that go into the production of this junk mail.
On the right is a picture of the table in our apartment building that is designated just for the junk mail. Our postman puts piles of junk mail there week after week (many phonebook’s worth of paper every month, not to mention every year). Then someone picks it up periodically and puts it in the recycle bin outside the door.
It goes from post office, to trash in a matter of days without ever being looked at. This is a shame, a sin, a sham, and a scam. The post office gets paid to deliver this junk, so they’re not going to do anything about it. It has to be someone like San Francisco, Board of Supervisors president David Chu, who is leading the charge against the continued delivery of phone books that hardly anyone uses anymore.
Read more on Environmental Leader! Yellow Pages Faces Another Ban · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader.