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.
The law would make San Francisco the first U.S. city to ban unsolicited distribution of the Yellow Pages, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
“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 Chronicle.
Seattle City Council voted on Monday to keep pursuing plans to levy a 14 cent fee for every Yellow Pages book distributed, despite a federal lawsuit against the city, the Seattle Times reported.
Directory parent companies Dex One, the Yellow Pages Association and SuperMedia filed suit in November, saying the Seattle ordinance restricts their right to free speech.
The city is no longer pushing for the $148 tonnage fee it approved in October to help pay for recycling the books, the Times reported.
Also last October, the council voted to create a registry for people wanting to opt out of phone book delivery. It plans to launch the site in April.
But some distributors are trying to beat the city at that game.
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.
The association says the redesigned user interface makes opting out more convenient for customers by reducing the need to contact multiple publishers. The website was developed together with the Association of Directory Publishers.
“The site, supported by directory publishers across the country, illustrates our ongoing commitment to not delivering a directory to someone who doesn’t want one,” YPA president Neg Norton said.
The associations said that Yellow Pages companies have cut the amount of directory paper they use by 29 percent since 2006, and use paper that is either recycled or made from leftover woodchips from the lumber industry. Three-quarters of U.S. adults use the print Yellow Pages every year, the associations said.
“We believe print remains a central component of our industry’s growing portfolio, which today includes digital and mobile platforms,” Norton said.