The City of Seattle today launched its new online registry allowing all city residents and businesses to opt out of receiving yellow pages phone books. The registry is called Stop Phone Books.
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.
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 by Catalog Choice, a non-profit company based in Berkeley, Calif.