How to Opt out of Receiving the Yellow Pages

Opt Out of Yellow PagesHate getting the Yellow Pages? You’re not alone. A recent survey conducted on behalf of the online phone directory site WhitePages.com confirmed that nearly 70% of adults in the US “rarely or never” use the phone book. Unfortunately, until recently, there have been limited methods to opt out of receiving your phone book; some cities, like Seattle, have allowed local residents to opt out of receiving local phone books, but most of the nation still receives the Yellow Pages regularly.

Now, everyone in the United States has the option to opt out of receiving this big, yellow doorstop. On February 1, the National Yellow Pages Association and the Association of Directory Publishers launched YellowPagesOptOut, an easy-to-use website where customers can opt out of the Yellow Pages’ automatic home delivery service. This service is designed to help the Association work toward a more sustainable business model, as it has recognized the lessening demand for these books — as demonstrated by the Harris Interactive poll conducted on behalf of WhitePages.com, which also found that 60% of online adults find contact information online and only 22% recycle their phone books. It also found that 87% support an opt in where they would receive the phone book only if requested — up from 81% a year ago.

As a result, Neg Norton, president of the Yellow Pages Association, says that “our industry is taking a giant leap forward today by launching a clearinghouse site for consumers to control the delivery of directories,” according to USA Today.

To use YellowPagesOptOut, simply enter your ZIP code on the site’s homepage to view the number of directory books you’re eligible to opt out of, then register your email address and phone number to create an account. Then, you can choose which books you’d like to receive, if any. Of course, considering today’s era of Google, Bing, and Yelp, we don’t see a reason to receive any at all. But that’s up to you, of course.

In fact, we were wondering why the Yellow Pages even still exist. To our surprise, The National Yellow Pages Association insists that there is still some demand for the phone books. According to the opt out website, there is still a demand for Yellow Pages, but it has significantly reduced by 29% since 2006. The website says that “as a result of programs to reduce the size of directories, use more efficient pagination systems, and to expand digital and mobile search products, publishers have reduced the size of directories 29% since 2006. Additionally, publishers have switched to a lighter-weight paper to reduce overall weight and conserve resources throughout the product life cycle.”

Unfortunately, not all consumers can opt out of all the phone books in their area. In this case, if you can find no other practical use for the books, be sure to recycle the pages and not place them in the trash. For other ways on how to handle the disposal of your phone books, the YellowPagesOptOut website has great tips, as well as what to do with your old phone books.

Do you still receive the Yellow Pages? Will you be using the YellowPagesOptOut website to choose to stop receiving phone books at your home or apartment? Let us know your thoughts about this new service in the comments.

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  • Rockguy29

    I would opt out but still live at home so it would up to my parents if they wanted to not get the yellow pages anymore.

  • Darren Ellis

    I just signed up and opted out of everything. Thanks for the info. All of my phone books have been going directly from my porch to my recycling bin for the last 6 years or more and hopefully this will cut down on some unnecessary printing.  

  • Darren Ellis

    I just signed up and opted out of everything. Thanks for the info. All of my phone books have been going directly from my porch to my recycling bin for the last 6 years or more and hopefully this will cut down on some unnecessary printing.  

  • Glen O’Donnell

    You can use yellow pages online Chris!

  • kramer

    So many things wrong here.
    1. Yellow pages book is already made from recycled material and is fully recyclable.
    2. Printers of YP already have their money from the ads and would love NOT to have to print big paper books.
    3. The opt out of receiving has been available for some time. Why don’t you know this?4. As other poster says, YP is available online.
    5. To answer your question about who uses YP, http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9193820.htm
    the answer is LOTS of people and more importantly, it is the people that HAVE money.
    Now, go do some real research.

  • kramer

    So many things wrong here.
    1. Yellow pages book is already made from recycled material and is fully recyclable.
    2. Printers of YP already have their money from the ads and would love NOT to have to print big paper books.
    3. The opt out of receiving has been available for some time. Why don’t you know this?4. As other poster says, YP is available online.
    5. To answer your question about who uses YP, http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9193820.htm
    the answer is LOTS of people and more importantly, it is the people that HAVE money.
    Now, go do some real research.

    • http://www.kelly-clay.com Kelly Clay

      1. Are you suggesting that because the Yellow Pages book isn’t fully recyclable that people shouldn’t bother recycling it at all? 

      2. Lower distribution of the books results in a smaller circulation to sell against, which means YP will get less money for the ads. 

      3. Before this website launched, opt out resources have been fragmented, so there wasn’t one place to go and easily opt out – and they weren’t available to all consumers.

      4. As to this point, what does the YP being online have to do with the printed book?

      5. The fact that 50% of the people wouldn’t bother to opt in suggests they are only using YP now because it’s an ingrained behavior, not because they couldn’t do something else instead. Also, looking in YP first doesn’t mean they found what they were looking for or that they didn’t end up using some alternative as a second or third resource.

      • kramer

        Hi Kelly, Sorry, my last comment might have sounded a little flippant instead of irreverently funny. 

        There seems to be a lot of talk, speculation and conflicting research out there regarding the use and disposal of printed directories.  I thought you might find this interesting regarding the impact of printed directories and the environmental initiatives taken by one such company. http://vimeo.com/27833781
        Also, this one goes into a comparison of the impact of things made of natural bio degradable material versus things like computers with plastics, toxic compounds and resource intensive mining processes to extract Rare Earth Minerals.
        http://yptalk.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/the-dirty-little-environmental-secrets-print-haters-don%E2%80%99t-want-to-talk-about/ Hopefully, somewhere, there is a middle ground until we figure out how to beam messages from head to head directly. 

  • Sam

    I opted out a year ago (yellowpagesoptout.com) and still received a yellow pages directory today. ;-(