The phone book is as outdated as the home phone. I never use it anymore, yet, it still appears in my driveway or doorstep. It makes me cringe every time I see it because it’s such a waste of ink and paper.

Phone book delivery is still alive

Unlike other paper products, the phone book is not accepted by every curbside recycling program.

The complaints about phone books started about seven years ago. That’s just some perspective to how long this has been an issue. Yet, they still get delivered.

We see fewer phone books, but they are still out there. When we recently moved, a phone book appeared on our doorstep.

The Encyclopedia Britannica stopped publishing copies of the research book because of slow sales. I look at the phone book like the Encyclopedia. It’s a dinosaur.

In Ohio, the white pages haven’t been printed for more than five years. However, there is a big difference between the white and yellow pages. With the yellow pages, there is big money attached as sales of ads are upfront. I just can’t imagine what company still sees this as a profitable business venture.

How to stop phone book delivery

Phone books are nothing more than junk mail to some consumers. You can get rid of junk mail, junk email, and there are ways to get rid of the Yellow Pages. However, you have to opt out. It’s not automatic. This dinosaur is still alive!

The site, “Yellow Pages Opt Out” allows you to stop receiving phone books. For my work zip code, I’m scheduled to receive four phone books. I don’t need four phone books. They are broken down by geographic area. There’s one specific to the wider Kansas City area, another to the specific geographic region I live in, my town, and the metro. There’s obviously overlap, but anyway they can get the phone book in front of you they will.

You have to register with Yellow Pages Opt Out to stop delivery of the phone book. When you opt out of phone book delivery, it is permanent.

If you still like to browse the yellow pages, you don’t need the actual book. You can browse the phone book digitally. AT&T offers the “Real Yellow Pages.” You can download the directory and virtually search page by page. It’s like you’re flipping through the phone book, but doing it online in a green way.

Where to recycle phone books

As with most things, there are two schools of thought on these movements to stop production of junk mail or phone books. Many jobs are supported by the phone book and junk mail. With the stop junk mail efforts, counter-movements have popped up to continue production of the mail to support jobs and the Post Office.

The phone book industry says the books are made from waste wood that would otherwise go to landfills. They also say they’ve reduced paper use by over 70-percent since 2007, and the majority of phone books are recycled unlike other products. So how do you recycle a phone book?

Depending on where you fall on the issue, you can take action either way. If you still want the phone book to support jobs, then recycle the phone book when you’re done with it. Cleveland has an entire recycling program for phone books, and many other communities do too. It’s typically discouraged to put the phone book in the trash. RecycleNation helps you find a recycling option in your community. This works for phone books or any other product you want to recycle from electronics to hair products.