Starting today, residents and businesses can opt-out of receiving phone books and junk mail.
A look at the discarded phone books, courtesy the City of Seattle.
Last fall, Seattle became the first city in the country to allow residents and businesses to opt-out of receiving certain things at their homes – including phone books and junk mail. Today the city launched a new online registry to make the process easy.
“We heard from hundreds of people who are frustrated with the system of receiving multiple phone books every year and requested a reliable way to stop the waste. This is it,” said City Councilman Mike O’Brien, chairman of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee and sponsor of the opt-out legislation. “The new system provides real accountability — phone book companies must comply with peoples’ choices or face penalties.”
Those penalties are as steep as $125 per phone book if delivered to a residence or business that has opted out.
The city says this move will stop an estimated 2 million phone books from hitting the recycling bin, saving taxpayers about $350,000. “According to the U.S. Postal Service and Seattle Public Utilities research, Seattle homes and businesses receive an estimated 17,500 tons of unwanted paper in the form of junk mail and yellow pages phone books, approximately 100 pounds of waste per household, each year,” a release from the city states.
If you want to opt-out, you must do so 30 days before the scheduled delivery. Dex Pages plans to deliver next month; register by May 16 to opt-out.
The opt-out site is here, which includes both phone books and junk mail.