Do We Really Need Phone Books?

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In this computerized day and age, we have access to the world at our fingertips.  Most people have little need for phone books since we utilize the internet to locate people, products and services, yet they are still delivered to us once, or even twice, every year.  Even though many phone books are at least partly made from recycled paper and wood fiber waste, and many are recycled at the end of the year, more than 660,000 tons still end up in the trash every year. Plus, the energy used to produce, print and transport millions of phone books has an enormous environmental impact.

You and your local government currently bears the cost to recycle and/or dispose of phone books. This waste could be stemmed by first eliminating the delivery of unsolicited or unwanted phone books. Call the numbers below to remove your address from phone book delivery lists.

To Stop receiving the Yellow Book phone directory, call 1-800-929-3556.   To be removed from the Verizon telephone directory mailing list, call 1-800-555-4833.  For the DEX mailing list, call 1-877-243-8339. will contact the Telephone Directory organizations for you to cease and desist from distributing any and all future directories published to your listed home or business premises.

Visit the to join the petition to stop unwanted phone book deliveries.

Source:  The Product Stewardship Institute

photo courtesy of Carlos Martinez

Tag(s): Greening the Home, Greening the Office


6 Responses to “Do We Really Need Phone Books?”

  1. Crafty Green Poet on February 18th, 2009 11:03 am

    We certainly don’t need telephone directories, definitely not the home and business combined directory; Yellow Pages plus two more separate local business directories that we get. Its difficult to stop delivery to our address though as the directories are all put at the bottom of the stairs in our tenement block…

  2. Danny on February 18th, 2009 3:42 pm

    AMEN! I’ve lived in apartments/condos a good portion of my life and it just infuriates me how many phonebooks I’ve seen just sitting around rotting at doors where no one even lives. All the time you hear about conserving and recycling paper products when apparently all the phone companies have full reign to kill as many trees as they want. How many people even use a landline at home any more? I remember when you, at least, had to be a customer to get a certain phonebook and now you get a copy whether you want it or not. I can’t remember the last time I even USED a phonebook much less needed one at home.

  3. Danny on February 18th, 2009 5:33 pm

    I just visited both the websites in the article and signed up…but what to do about vacant homes and phonebooks? THAT is huge…

  4. SHobbs on February 18th, 2009 8:27 pm

    Your readers would be better served if you send them to,(click the walking fingers on the right and use the Consumer Choice site). Many YP publishers won’t accept third-party lists for privacy reasons, our site will send you directly to the publishers to choose which, if any books you want to receive. Some of your readers may not use the books any longer, but in 2007 US consumers referenced the YP over 13.4 billion times and it remains a great way for small businesses to reach buyers, since 86% of those who use the YP make a purchase. Full disclosure, I work for the Yellow Pages Association and our site has more information about our products and their impact on the waste stream.

  5. greg on February 21st, 2009 10:46 am

    I’ve chased the yellow pages people down the street before waiving my phone book and demanding that they take it back! I’ve also mailed my phone book back to the issuer with a not-so-friendly note. Try calling the company that’s publishing and ask what address you can return it to…if you want to stump a customer service operator. I should write a book with the responses I’ve gotten. Thanks for directions to the websites!

  6. Barry on March 2nd, 2009 11:57 am

    I have used opt out number and registered not to receive phone books, however I still received one. When I called opt out number back to complain I was given an excuse about the “mix-up”.
    However to thier credit they did send someone around to retrieve book. We must be persistent

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