Seattle Public Utilities is mailing yellow reminder cards to 280,000 residences and business this month, reminding them how to opt out of getting phone books delivered to their front door.
Since May, the Phone Books Opt-Out Registry website registered more than 36,000 addresses that declined delivery of more than 227,000 phone books this year.
“Preventing waste by choosing the phone books you don’t want is a good example of what sustainability means,” Timothy Croll, SPU’s director of solid waste, said in a press release. “Last year, the average Seattle household got six phone books weighing more than 11 pounds. So opting out saves tons of paper — more than 200 tons per year already — and cuts down on greenhouse gas generation.”
Seattle residents and businesses can also use the website to stop much unwanted junk mail. Croll acknowledged the irony of sending out mail to encourage people to stop junk mail but he pointed out that the mailer, which will use four tons of paper, is expected to help 28,000 more households and businesses stop 168,000 phone book deliveries, saving 150 tons of paper.
The stop phone books card also provides a phone number, (206) 504-3066. The mailer and phone number can only be used for addresses within the City of Seattle. However, from the www.seattle.gov/stopphonebooks website, those outside the city can also access the CatalogChoice website and stop both phone books and junk mail. King County is expected to add access to the CatalogChoice service from its website later this summer.
The Phone Books Opt-Out Registry is funded by a fee charged to yellow pages publishers. Publishers can be fined when they don’t honor requests through the city’s opt-out program.