Tag Archives: Phone books

Town Prepares For 2020. Phone Book Distributors Race Backward To 1979.

It’s the holiday season. But alert — and peeved — “06880” Gil Ghitelman just found an unwelcome “gift” underneath his mailbox.

One shot from Imperial Avenue …

The Yellow Pages — or, in this case, Blue Pages — are baaaaaack.

“Any business that wastes its money foolishly advertising in this, whose time has long passed, doesn’t deserve my business,” Gil writes.

“And the town ought to fine the distributors.”

In fact, the town already addressed this issue. Two years ago — thanks to excellent work by resident Morgan Mermagen, RTM representatives Liz Milwe, Jeff Wieser and Matthew Mandell, and assistant town attorney Gail Kelly, all phone book distributors in Westport agreed to these conditions:

  • All plastic bags used during delivery will be made with 20% post-consumer recycled content. This will be noted on the bag.
  • A new opt-out notice — showing the website www.YellowPagesOptOut.com — will cover 30% of one side of the bag.
  • A letter to the town, announcing a pending distribution by any company, will be done 90 days prior to any event, and 30 days prior to a cut-off for being able to opt out of that (and future) distributions.
  • All books will continue to have a notice on the front cover about the opt-out, with the same URL.
  • Within 14 days after delivery, the distribution company will return through the route, picking up any unclaimed bags within view.
  • A report will be sent to the town each year, noting how many people have opted out.

I’m not sure whether the distributor of the current Yellow Blue Pages adhered to these regulations. Gil had already tossed the “gift” by the time I emailed them back to him.

(Click here for the full 2017 “06880” story on phone book distribution.)

… and the house next door. (Photos/Gil Ghitelman)

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.

Killing Trees, Part II

Last summer, “06880” reader Mary McGee complained about the ridiculous practice of dumping phone books underneath mailboxes.  They’re unsightly, she said — and besides, who uses phone books these days?

Almost 2 dozen folks commented, agreeing wholeheartedly.

Now, alert reader Jennifer Jackson sends along this info:  According to Yahoo! News, regulators are allowing telecommunications companies to stop mass-printing residential phone books.

Recently, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania approved Verizon’s request to not distribute white pages.  Virginia is considering a similar move.

Nearly a dozen other states have enacted or are debating similar legislation.

The list includes such forward-looking, business-interfering states as Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas.

But not Connecticut.

Killing Trees

“06880” reader Mary McGee wonders:

What’s with these phone books that get dumped a few times a year at our mailboxes?  I haven’t asked for them and I rarely, if ever, use them.  All the information I need can be found on the web.

This week, I picked up a book that numbered around 900 pages.  Two weeks ago, there were 3 or so books of that same heft dumped by my mailbox.

What is particularly irksome is that there are 5 mailboxes at the end of my driveway.  Apparently, my neighbors don’t use these tomes either because they pile up in front of my house until I get annoyed enough to take them all to the dump.

I understand that older folks, like my mother, use those books.  Wouldn’t it be better if they were allowed to request them, which would spare the majority of us from this litter?

I know, I know.  I sound like a cranky old lady.  Maybe it’s too early in the day and I haven’t had enough coffee yet.

Mary is not the only “06880” reader fuming over phone books.  Here’s an email I received 2 days after Mary’s:

We have just received our 7th phone book in a week.

The first one I took directly to the paper recycling bin, and put the plastic bag into its recycling bag.

I can’t remember when anyone in my family used a paper phone book rather than their mobile phone or computer to look up a number or search for a vendor.  I do appreciate that not everyone is as wired, but no one needs as many as we receive.

Three days later 3 books arrived, subdivided in some logic  left over from another era when one would put the yellow pages in a different place than the white pages.

Days later, in what I am sure was an error, the triumvirate of books reappeared.  The delivery was very thorough, even leaving a bags of books at an empty Compo Beach Road lot near a “for sale” sign.

I wonder if the RTM could discuss limiting the number of companies that distribute these books to every home in town.  Of course, I hope they would not limit my NY Times bag cover which arrives each day.