The Yellow & White Pages phone books. They have been used as packaging material, a dangerous booster seat and fire-starter. But in an increasingly digital age, just how often is the phone book actually used to make phone calls?
San Francisco has proposed a law banning the distribution of unsolicited phone books. If the law goes into effect, phone companies and Yellow Pages publishers will be prohibited from leaving phone books on doorsteps and lobbies without advanced permission — fines could be up to $500 per violation.
Should we propose the same law in our city? I believe we should. I don’t see any need for these phone books anymore. In fact, every time it’s delivered in my door, it goes straight to my recycling bin.
Nowadays, very few people depend on phone books which contain information for landline telephone numbers only in the area where they live. The information is often wrong because they are out of date by the time they arrive. Phone books with absurdly thin paper and teeny tiny fonts are also painfully slow to use. Furthermore, listings contain people with same names but lack the identifying information available online including age range, company name, etc. to help you connect with the right person.
An estimated 165,000 tons of phone books end up in landfills every year. Eliminating them could save an estimated $17 million in taxpayer funded recycling fees annually.
Since people prefer using free online directories these days on web-enabled mobile phones, don’t you think it’s time to ban these phone books?