Telephone directory publishers will make it easier for consumers to opt-out of delivery with the relaunch of Yellowpagesoptout.com in 2011, allowing users to stop any or all deliveries with the click of a mouse.
The current site provides contact information for each publisher that serves a given ZIP code, with the user then requesting to opt-out from each publication via separate phone numbers or websites.
While there are other sites that offer the ability to opt-out of delivery, Yellowpagesoptout.com is backed by two industries that represent directory publishers – the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) and the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP).
“We’ve always said that it doesn’t make sense to deliver a directory to someone who doesn’t want one,” said YPA President Neg Norton.
“The industry’s current site was a giant leap in making it easier for consumers to participate in publishers’ individual opt-out programs, but the ‘clearinghouse’ is the ultimate way to give consumers the choice we want them to have.”
One alternative to opt-out programs is the opt-in approach, where publishers would only be allowed to deliver a book if consumers gave permission ahead of time. This idea has gained support in recent years and several states have considered this approach, but so far no communities have passed an opt-in law.
Seattle is considering another solution, which would charge directory publishers for any books that are recycled. This would place the burden of disposal costs on the publisher instead of taxpayers.
In Earth911′s Recycling Directory, only 47 percent of community-run curbside programs currently accept phone books for recycling. However, many communities offer recycling drives at the same time new books are delivered, and they are also accepted at many transfer stations for recycling year-round.