Burien Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon One Of Three Behind New Yellow Pages ‘Opt-Out’ Bill
Democratic Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon of Burien is one of three state lawmakers who are making it easier for people to opt out of receiving yellow pages and phone books.
Along with Reps. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle and Marko Liias of Edmonds, Fitzgibbon says the state’s largest directory publishers will direct consumers to an already-existing website (www.YellowPagesOptOut.com) where they can choose to stop receiving the yellow pages.
Directories like Berry, Dex, SuperMedia, and YellowBook will also be required to put the website address on the upper right corner of their publications, notifying users of their ability to opt out, Carlyle said.
According to the website banthephonebook.org:
An estimated 5 million trees are cut down each year to create white pages phone books and that according to a recent survey conducted with Harris Interactive, only 22% of recipients recycle when disposing of them, which explains why approximately 165,000 tons of waste end up in landfills?* In addition, our own survey shows that almost 75% of consumers are completely unaware of the environmental and financial impact in printing, delivering and recycling these books. Given that you likely use online directories, social networks and mobile phone applications to find the contact information you need, it simply does not make sense to have the white pages phone books forcefully delivered to us every year.
“Washington residents who do not want a phone book may not know there is an easy process to manage directory delivery to their homes,” said Liias. “We’ve called on Yellow Pages publishers to show consumers that their Yellow Pages opt-out site is simple, effective, and generates results.
“Yellow Pages companies have nothing to gain by delivering unwanted phone directories,” said Neg Norton, president of the Local Search Association, a trade organization that represents Yellow Pages companies. “I applaud Reps. Carlyle, Liias, and Fitzgibbon for working closely with publishers to get the word out about this valuable resource. Through our joint efforts, we can ensure directory delivery is customized to each household’s preference.”
The lawmakers are now planning to focus their attention on opt out options for white pages directories. An outdated regulation requires businesses to distribute the white pages to every customer regardless of whether the customer wants the white pages. With the support of businesses, local governments, and environmental interests, the lawmakers are urging the Utilities & Transportation Commission to modernize this rule.
“Not everyone needs the white pages anymore,” said Fitzgibbon. “Consumers have many other choices for locating a residential phone number.”