End Waste: Support a Landmark Ban on Unwanted Phone Books
  • Petitioned Angela Calvillo

This petition was delivered to:

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
Angela Calvillo

End Waste: Support a Landmark Ban on Unwanted Phone Books

    1. Jess Leber
    2. Petition by

      Jess Leber

      Washington, DC

Every year, San Francisco's residents receive on their doorstep more than 1.5 million copies of the Yellow Pages. They did not ask for them. Most people who have high-speed Internet access (i.e. the overwhelming majority) do not want them.

Yet, in San Francisco alone, this monumental amount of flimsy, cheap paper, if stacked, would reach almost 6-times the height of Mt. Everest.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu recently unveiled a landmark proposal to end all of this waste. It is the first proposal of its kind in the nation. 

The ordinance makes sure companies can only distribute hard-copy directories to the people who actually want them. The city's measure would establish a 3-year pilot program, during which Yellow Pages distributors would be barred from leaving books on the stoop of an unanswered door or face a $500 fine. A person would have to be at home to actively accept the delivery, or instead would have to explicitly request that they desire one to be left there.

In essence, it's the first-ever ban on the Yellow Pages you didn't ask for. After all, with Yelp, Google, and Yahoo a mere click away, you'd be hard pressed to find many people who want those ink-heavy tomes.

It's definitely not a controversial concept: it will save the city the $300 a ton it spends to recycle phone books, and it will also vastly reduce the environment footprint of the industry.

Unfortunately, the members of the Yellow Pages Association want to keep as much of their paper business as they can hang onto, given the advertising revenue they receive from hard copies of the phone book. For example, they have filed a lawsuit against Seattle's "opt-out' measure late last year and have already expressed displeasure with the San Francisco proposal.

Sign this petition to support San Francisco's ordinance.

A flood of national support would demonstrate the need for an end to wasteful Yellow Page deliveries everywhere, not just in San Francisco.

Photo credit: Petter Palander via Flickr

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. How to Stop the Endless Influx of Yellow Pages on Your Doorstep

      Jess Leber
      Petition organiser

      It's 2011, guys. What do you do when you need to find a local pizza joint? Go to Yelp's iPhone app or Google map nearby locations, right?
      While not everyone is quite that plugged in, for the vast majority of people, hard-copy phone directories are...

    3. Jess Leber
      Petition organiser

      Awesome, a member in London, Ontario has also started a petition to ban unwanted Yellow Pages in his hometown:

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Jess Leber
      Petition organiser

      Loads of media outlets, from The Associated Press to Treehugger, are picking up the announcement of this legislation. Let's see what happens to it over the next few weeks.

    6. Jess Leber
      Petition organiser

      Supervisor David Chiu says he's ready for a legal challenge to his proposal to end Yellow Pages Opt-In legislation:

    7. Reached 100 signatures
    8. Jess Leber
      Petition organiser

      San Francisco just introduced this measure today! Let's get it a lot of early support, because the Yellow Pages Association is bound to put up a fight.

    9. Reached 5 signatures
    10. San Francisco Debuts Landmark Ban on Unwanted Phone Book Deliveries

      Jess Leber
      Petition organiser

      Every year, San Francisco's 800,000 residents receive on their doorstep more than 1.5 million Yellow Pages phone books. They did not ask for them. Most people who have high-speed Internet access (i.e. the overwhelming majority) do not want them.
      Yet,...

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Albert Kaufman PORTLAND, OR
      • about 3 years ago
      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Clurie Bennis CLEVELAND, OH
      • about 3 years ago

      How do we do this in Cleveland??? I toss several versions of yellow pages.

      And how do I stop unsolicited store fliers? How many trees have died for me?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Albert Kaufman PORTLAND, OR
      • about 3 years ago

      And to Kelly McGill, how much is the phonebook industry paying you to replicate your comments on everything related to phonebooks? I think once is probably enough. Are you afraid of losing your job as a yellow pages shill?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kelly McGill SANTA YNEZ, CA
      • about 3 years ago

      Please Stop This .... Do not be responsible for another person losing a job. The only reason you receive a phone book YOU do not want is because YOU have not opted out.

      Those who wake up every day with the job of walking door to door to deliver the phone book will be fired with this proposal. Those business owner who because of lost revenue when the phone book is not available to customers will need to fire employees with this proposal. Don’t forget those who work to produce the phone book; graphic artist, publishers and sales people will be fired with this proposal. And yes people do still use the phone book. 411 is expensive and the community guides are great for locating social services, bus routes, utility offices, government offices and emergency services and this information is always available waiting on a shelf easily accessible, no internet required

      Please give the opt out service a chance to succeed and keep Americans working.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
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