Recycling. Hard Copy Yellow Pages Has No Place In The World Of 2012

Driving home I see the plastic bags of yellow pages strewn in front of houses up and down the street.  I pull in the driveway, grab the white plastic bag containing one of the two or three different versions of the yellow pages we will receive this year and promptly drop it into our recycling bin.

In this day of smartphones and computers is there really any need to chew up the lumber for the paper, ink or transportation costs to produce this thing?

I wonder how many of our readership keeps these things kicking around still or how many of you put it straight into the recycling bin?

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Mark Ring offers his perspective on the yellow pages and community phonebooks-

Mark says that they breed like rabbits.  You put one on the coffee table and a month later there’s a stack of 5.  The odds that you’ll find what you are looking for in the big Boston Metro yellow pages are one in a gazilion.   I have yet to ever had any success drilling down for the listing I was looking for in the big Metro yellow pages.  The problem seems to be how they have things categorized in the big Boston Metro Yellow Pages.  Chances are the listing you are looking for is in there but it’s completely mis-categorized.  For example you could be looking for a mattress store and it will be listed under scarves.

The community phone book on the other hand will have every local number listed except for the one you are inevitably looking for.  Never fails.  Ever.

I’m done.  Straight to the recycling bin.


  • My husband was just sayin’ the same thing when ours arrived several days ago; went straight to the recycling bin.


  • For those of us who are not yet online and comfortable with the new media, hard copy yellow pages should be available on an opt-in basis. If it’s opt-in, we’ll have a lot less trees coming down. As it stands now, it’s not even opt-out. I would LOVE to be able to opt out.


  • You are Correct, Sir!


  • Joey–theres a phone number inside one of the 1st few pages you can call to cancel delivery–I did it last year–I get none now


  • We still use the book. YOU DIGITAL SNOB! 🙂


  • I so agree with you. They should be banned. How many trees does it take to print all of the millions of phone books that such a small percentage of the population uses anymore? You are right, most of them get tossed. I just pray that most people are recycling them instead of trashing them.


  • Go to:
    and kill delivery. You can kill the white pages too (search cancel white pages) but it only sticks for two years. Send yourself a calendar note in two years with the URL.

    Now if you could figure out a way to cancel the delivery of 75 catalogs without going insane pass it on. There is a website you can do this but you have to add all the info for each catalog. If you get eight LL Beans before Christmas you have to put in the info eight times. Too much trouble. They just go directly to recycle bin.


  • If I understand it correctly, the outfits that print these make their money by selling ads to businesses, so they are motivated to hand out as many as possible so their circulation nnumbers look good. The only way to stop them is to stop advertising. I wonder what the statistics say about whether people find vendors on-line or in the phonebook.


    • Greg, you are absolutely correct. I always recommend to clients stay out of the phone book. Too maybe sit on doorsteps and never even get picked up. There are lots of other local advertising options out there.


  • the two phone books we get go directly from the driveway to the recycle bin


  • Always thinking the same thing, why, but I am so happy to see people write they are recycling them and not throwing them away, so refreshing to hear…. save the trees…..


  • There are still a lot of folks that aren’t online, especially the elderly who rely on the local phone books. I’d have to say about 20% of my business comes from the phone books. Rather than an opt out maybe an opt-in system would be more effective for those wishing to receive the phone books. Being an advertiser I could care less about circulation, it’s all about ROI.


  • I owna business and use my phone books everyday. There are great local coupons in them also.


  • I only keep the small community phone book for local #’s and the coupons. all the rest go into recycle. Now im going to cancel the rest. Thanks


  • Ready Go!
    I’ll race anybody with a computer or smartphone and beat them using the yellowpages. By the time I find the phone or boot up the laptop, my take-out pizza is already in the oven.


  • Complete waste and ugly as well – you see them hanging off gateposts and unoccupied porches for weeks


  • I like having a copy of the phone book for 2 reasons… white pages and coupons. What I don’t like, is that I get 4 versions of them.


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