February 5th, 2012

Yellow Page Waste

Trying to get through my magazine stack, I found this article in the July 2011 issue of Governing Magazine. Yes, slightly behind.

Because receiving multiple volumes of unwanted yellow page books each year is a pet peeve of mine, I found it interesting. Even though I have followed the instructions to opt-out for multiple consecutive years, I still receive them. I usually mutter something under my breath and take them straight to the recycling bin at my back door. Except for this year. I delivered them to the phone company’s substation. Surely they enjoyed picking up their own litter the next morning.

Anyway, the article mentioned explains that the City of San Francisco has banned the indiscriminate and unsolicited distribution of yellow page books. Unless a resident is home to physically accept the books or provides prior approval by phone, mail, or sticky note, they are not to be delivered. This is the way it should work.

Last year alone, San Francisco received 1.6 million yellow page books for its 800,000 citizens, or roughly 700,000 punds of waste. What’s then thrown costs the city $1,000,000 each year to process.

Yellow page books are a dying model. Until the phone companies change this method, we all deal with their waste whether we ever open the books or not.

Author: Tory Parish