If you’re like me, receiving a 3-inch thick Yellow Pages on your door-step is tantamount to someone throwing garbage on your welcome mat. I recently received mine, as many other Castro residents have, and just sighed and walked past them, planning to deal with it later. It’s such an annoyance that 2 years ago the city tried to pass legislation to require delivery of these books to be opt-in. After the federal courts ruled that a similar law in Seattle violated the First Amendment, the city suspended the law. According to the city, the 1.6 million business directories delivered every year would stack up to 8 1/2 times the height of Mt. Everest, and banning them would actually boost the economy by lowering advertising rates and reducing damage to municipal recycling machinery.
Doing a quick online search I was able to find a place where you can opt-out.YellowPagesOptOut.com is a resource put together by the Association of Directory Publishers (which the Yellow Pages is a part of) that will allow you to select which books you’d like to opt-out of.
The process is only a little bit annoying. Once you hit the homepage you type in your ZIP code in the big gray box and hit the “Get Started” button. You’ll have to go through a registration process, unfortunately, but once you’re in you’ll be presented with a screen like this where you can opt out of any and all editions available in your area.
You can either choose to opt-out of only a the ones you do not wish to receive or use the “OPT-OUT OF ALL” button to … opt-out of all of them. Once you’ve opted out, you’ll be presented with another web page to confirm your decision. Make sure to check the confirm box and hit the “CONFIRM” button or it won’t be processed.
Yellow Pages Opt Out disclaimer states,
“If you selected to opt out of a directory and your selection is made within 6-12 weeks of the directory’s publication date you may still receive the next edition. Should this happen, your request will be processed before the next publication date and you will no longer receive the directory.”
Recycling the phone books is a bit more complicated. According to Supervisor Wiener’s office, Recology isn’t a fan of processing them with the rest of recyclables in your recycle bin as they tend to gum up their machinery. In order to best recycle your phone books you can take them down to the recycler in person. The closest place in the Castro to recycle your unwanted phone book is SF Community Recyclers (2020 Market Street — next to Safeway). They are open everyday from 10AM – 5PM.