Have you used Seattle’s new yellow page opt-out? It’s rad

Seattle’s war on stacks of wasted telephone directories has a powerful new weapon. Here’s the bulletin from City Hall.

Last fall Seattle became the first city in the nation to mandate that the phone book industry honor residents’ choice regarding what is delivered to their home.

Today the City launched a new and easy-to-use online registry that allows Seattle residents and businesses to choose whether they receive yellow pages phone books: seattle.gov/stopphonebooks.

Under the city’s new opt-out ordinances (123427 and 123532), yellow pages publishers can be fined up to $125 per phone book if they deliver directories to residents who opt-out at least 30 days before scheduled delivery.

In order to opt-out of the Dex Pages delivery, the first to deliver and largest publisher in Seattle, residents and businesses must opt-out by May 16.

“We heard from hundreds of people who are frustrated with the system of receiving multiple phone books every year and requested a reliable way to stop the waste. This is it,” said City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee and sponsor of the opt-out legislation. “The new system provides real accountability — phone book companies must to comply with peoples’ choices or face penalties.”

At stopphonebooks, Seattle residents will be able to choose which yellow pages directory brands they want to receive, or halt delivery altogether. Later this summer, residents and businesses will also be able to call or mail in their preferences in addition to stopphonebooks

An estimated 2 million yellow-pages phone books are recycled in Seattle every year at a cost of about $350,000 to taxpayers. According to the U.S. Postal Service and Seattle Public Utilities research, Seattle homes and businesses receive an estimated 17,500 tons of unwanted paper in the form of junk mail and yellow pages phone books, approximately 100 pounds of waste per household, each year.

With this new service, Seattle residents can also request to stop junk mail by visiting the site and selecting the advertising and catalog companies whose mail they do not want to receive. Both sites are operated for the City byCatalog Choice, a non-profit company based in Berkeley, Calif.

“Eliminating even a fraction of paper waste represents a gain for the environment. By minimizing waste processing, greenhouse gases diminish and we get another step toward sustainability,” said Timothy Croll, Solid Waste Director at Seattle Public Utilities.

0 thoughts on “Have you used Seattle’s new yellow page opt-out? It’s rad

  1. Heard on the news that Dex is filing some sort of legal action to block the opt-out on the grounds of free speech. Way to be a big bag of douche, Dex.

  2. it strange how much people hate freedom….dex pays good money to have people deliver these. by opting out, you deprive people at the edge a decent way to make some cash for a couple weeks. boo hoo, you have to dump your yellow page book in the recycling. how horrible!

    the amount the phone books take up in recylcing is in the noise of what is collected, the figure they cite is BS. i’m sure we’ll see that $350k refunded to ratepayers when no one has a yellow page book.

    i dont use them at all, and as soon as i get it, it goes to the recylce bin. it takes at least 10 seconds.

  3. Your readers should know that there is a faster, more secure way to opt-out of delivery (something the City seems to want to overlook). Just go to http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com and take it from there. Takes about 3 minutes, no advertising to avoid and it’s the most secure site for making your directory delivery changes, reductions or eliminations. It baffles the mind that in such a challenged economy a municipal group would insist on duplicating the efforts of the YP industry and spending the taxpayers money on something so redundant. Full disclosure, I work for the Local Search Association, we spent a lot of time and effort creating an easy to use site that consumers all over the country can access, eliminating the need for this type of government intrusion.

  4. the city loves to find ways to make regulations about trivial things in response to vocal minorities of any cause. “We’ve heard from 100’s of people.” Thanks Mike. How much money will we spend by running a new website that will let a few people opt out of their yellow pages.