The PD has gotten several calls from readers asking what they can do with unwanted phone books. The quick answer is to place them in your curbside recycling cart.

In many cases, the better answer is to opt out or unsubscribe. If you no longer use a phone book or get more copies than you need, contact your phone book provider and ask them to drop you from their delivery schedule.

I think we should limit the number of books serving an area and have an opt-in system rather than an opt-out one: Phone Books, Phone Books, Do We Really Need So Many Phone Books?

A few days after I posted that piece, I met an AT&T rep at the statewide recycling conference who told me that AT&T now has that feature on their website.

Well, I can’t find it and I spent at least 30 minutes looking for it. I have his card somewhere…. So next week I will give him or them a call. If you can’t wait, try calling Yellow Book, 800 929-3556  between 6am – 6pm, Monday-Friday.

Valley Yellow Pages does allow you to opt out on-line. Visit and select Directories from the tab menu. Complete the form, say “no” to advertising, and “none” to business name and type. At the bottom of the page select “yes” to opt out. Please note, you have to do it once a year, 8 weeks before they start delivering which is in May in Sonoma County. Perhaps you could add a note to your datebook to do this sometime before March 1.

Here is something interesting from AT&T.   It sounds very responsible but they are still ignoring the issue of unwanted phone books dropped on doorsteps all over town.

AT&T Directory Recycling

We actively work to reduce the environmental impact of our paper sourcing, production and distribution, and we promote the recycling of AT&T Real Yellow Pages and AT&T Real White Pages directories. In 2008, we sponsored and managed more than 50 recycling drives across the country.

We also require our suppliers to practice renewable, sustainable resource management of the forests they use, including the identification and protection of forestry areas of high conservation value.

AT&T Real Yellow Pages directories are recyclable. The phone book paper is made from recycled paper waste and wood fiber waste. Recycled phone books can be made into useful products such as animal bedding, home insulation, bathroom tissue, cereal boxes, roofing shingles and new phone books.