A Chance to Say Goodbye to the White Pages

First plastic bags and now phone books; what’s left for hoarders to collect in Seattle?

State regulators at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) decided on Tuesday to no longer mandate the white pages directories be delivered to Washington customers. The new rule will require all local telephone companies that previously delivered the phone books to make the directories available online, and provide paper copies to anyone who requests them. But the days of mandatory deliveries and phone book-piles on the porch are over.

“The change is timely,” said UTC Chairman Dave Danner in a statement. “More and more, people go online for the kind of information the White Pages provide. Our action today eliminates tons of unwanted paper.”

According to the statement from the UTC, it will eliminate “more than 300 tons of unwanted paper directories from waste and recycling bins annually, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 4,000 tons,” which will also save local governments “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in waste-processing costs.”

The UTC is the state agency responsible for regulating rates and services of landline telephone companies, but their jurisdiction ends with the white pages, which are offered as part of traditional telephone services.

For those hoping to also cut down on unwanted deliveries of yellow pages, it’s a little more tricky. Although the city of Seattle has a “stop junk mail” site, it can’t be anything too official. The city of Seattle just finalized a settlement with the publishers of yellow pages in February after the city’s attempt to create an opt-out registry was ruled as a violation of yellow pages’ first amendment rights.

Anyone who does want to stop or limit Yellow Pages directory delivery to their homes or businesses can do so through www.YellowPagesOptOut.com.

 
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