Unwanted Phone Books: The Sequel

From time to time, “06880” has bitched about reported on the obnoxious tradition of dumping phone books next to mailboxes, where they often sit seemingly forever.

Eventually, they’re picked up.  Then it becomes our job to dispose of them.  When was the last time you used the yellow pages?  Or called someone’s land line?

The more environmentally conscious Westporters try to recycle their unwanted phone books.  The other day, “06880” reader JoAnn Davidson drove to the transfer station, with 10 soggy phone books that sat by her condo mailboxes for at least 2 weeks.

Here’s what she saw:

How these puppies will be recycled is anyone’s guess.

17 responses to “Unwanted Phone Books: The Sequel

  1. How can we stop the distribution of this outdated and environmentally unfriendly tool?

    • think-about-it

      I used to think the same thing…until I actually did some research.

      The EPA Facts and Figures Report breaks down numbers for production, recycling and trash. What blew my mind – and lost me a bet – are these numbers:

      1. 650 Thousand Tons of Phonebooks are generated in the US each year. 36.9% is recycled (and from another source: 50-100% of a new phonebook is made from pre- and post-consumer recycled materials and green inks and dyes in the first place)

      2. 3.16 Million Tons of E-Waste (computers, smart phones, etc) are generated in the US each year. Only 13.6% is recycled. (and the contents of e-waste are a lot more toxic to the environment).

      At least, if a phonebook is sitting around for too long in the wet it turns back into mulch – an old computer will just leach chemicals. I literally mulched my garden with last year’s phonebook. Plus, not having one is sort of short-sighted. When my power went out in an ice storm I was reeeealy glad I had a phonebook (and a land line).

      I did the math. You should see the numbers for junkmail and disposable diapers – MUCH worse than phonebooks (for some reason, 0% of Pampers are recycled… I wonder why 😉

  2. The amount of junk mail we received in our mailboxes is just as bad or worse. What a waste of resources.

  3. I requested not to receive them anymore, (there must have been some information about this inside) – but now I get a card saying that although I requested no further deliveries if I change my mind I can check here and delivery will be re-instated!!! Yet another waste of time and paper.

  4. I use the phone books quite often. But I’m annoyed that I received the current Yellow Pages book and not the White Pages.

  5. Verizon in my part of Florida has solved the problem. No more phone books.
    Nada. Now. How much does it cost now to text or call information?

  6. The Dude Abides

    Continuing saga of this town’s eyesore. It is incredible the number of people who just leave their “pages” by their mailboxes and of course, they want to blame those who to deliver them. I am amazed on my runs to see the neglect. Kudos to Jo Ann for disposing of some. I try to do it on North Avenue along with the damn ugly solicitation signs. Keep Westport beautiful!!!!

  7. I did the same as Emma. I requested not to receive anymore phone books. It is wonderful. I only wish I could remember how I did it so I could share it with everyone. There is definitely a way!

  8. If you don’t want to receive yellow pages, go to yellowbook.com and scroll down to the bottom to Delivery Opt-Out.

  9. Weston passed an ordinance this year that requires the distributors to remove the phonebooks if they are still laying around after 30 days. So far, it’s working like a charm.

  10. Catherine Burnett

    Thanks for posting the opt out link. There will be 4 less books each year in my future and in the earth’s.

  11. Melissa Ceriale

    the opt out link above works like a charm. do yourself a big favor and, when you get a junk mail catalogue in the mail, take 30 secs to call the 800 number and just ask to be removed from their mailing list. you’ll be amazed at the drop in junk mail within a month.

    • But as noted above, the Post Office relies on such revenue to keep afloat. I hardly find sifting through my mail as troublesome. Phone books, as distributed now, is pure litering.