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Website Allows Residents to Opt Out of Receiving Directories

by Katie Pyzyk March 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm 6,515 32 Comments

The internet has made many things easier, including looking up businesses and phone numbers. If you don’t feel the need to receive those big phone books on your doorstep anymore, there’s a way you can opt out.

Two trade groups have teamed up to create a phone book opt-out website. It was set up to reduce the amount of waste and costs associated with delivering unwanted directories.

The site determines which phone books you are eligible for based on your ZIP code, and allows you to choose which you do or do not want to receive.

Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services didn’t have specific stats on how many phone books are recycled in Arlington each year, but officials remind anyone who still wants to receive the directories that they can be recycled in the standard county recycling bins.

  • OldTimer

    Amen to that. Seems new ones come out every 3-4 months, if not sooner. Right into the blue bin they go.

  • old school

    so you use that new fangled interwebby thing?

  • Bandersnatch

    Done! Awesome service- took 3 minutes and a quick verification. May I never see another physical phone book.

  • Leonardo

    Just registered. Hope it works. Unfortuately, the distributers seem to just dump 10 or 15 copies on the doorstep of our building. Then they sit there for a month because no one wants a copy. Waste of paper.

  • DSS10

    I hope the web site works. I just wish stopping all of those circulars was that easy.

    • Michael H.


  • CourthouseChris

    Just opted-out myself. One less in the stack left at the entrance to my building hopefully.

    I think it’s hilarious that it let’s you order more phonebooks – up to 3!

  • veeta

    This is great! I wish I could opt out of circulars also, and I have a helluva time getting rid of catalogs. This is why I am not really that upset about the postal service getting cut to the bone. I pay my bills online, and so the vast majority of my mail is unwanted junk.

    • zzzzz

      You can opt out of lots of advertising mail.


      • veeta

        Yes, and I encourage everyone to do so, but companies you do business with can still sell your info–and there are many hoops to go through to stop catalogs.

      • Bandersnatch

        Thanks! The opt-out for credit offers was equally easy… The magazines and catalogs will be a chore for some future dreary day…

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Thanks, I just went to the link and opted out of all the different offers, etc.

      • Don’t fall for it!

        The DMA opt-out site works – I did it a few years ago and virtually all junk mail stopped flowing to my “real” mail box.

        But beware of these other opt out sites – Why should you have to give them YOUR EMAIL to opt out of getting a phonebook thrown on your lawn a couple times a year?

        BECAUSE “they” are collecting valid email IDs and selling them to other advertisers. Of course these guys don’t want to send you a book, when they can fill you inbox with SPAM.

        THINK about it before giving your email ID to anyone, especially a marketeer. You guys just don’t understand the internet and what drives it.

        Stop using the GOOGLE, too.

  • BC

    There ought to be legislation that requires opting in rather than out. What a total waste

  • Can we opt to donate them to the local Strongman events? Your not a meathead if you can’t tear those in half!

  • nunya

    thank the maker!

    • OldTimer

      Maker’s Mark!

      • nunya

        i’ll drink to that.

      • ksu499


  • Cynic

    I fear if I register on that site I will get put on a mailing list for all sorts of “green” product catelogs, not to mention they want your email and phone too. Why ?

    • zzzzz

      I don’t know why they want your email address and phone number, but the Direct Marketing Association is not in the business of selling green products, or anything else. They offer this service for several reasons, one of which is that mailers do not want to waste money printing and mailing things to people who don’t want them. On the contrary, they spend a lot of money trying to figure out who is more likely to want their mailings so they can target them instead of the folks who will just throw it out.

      • Don’t fall for it!

        I know why – (see my previous post) – they SELL your email id to other spammers.

        Protect your email ID, or make up a special new one on Yahoo or gmail (NO! Not the GOOGLE!) just for these kind of things, and never check it again.

  • bred

    Contrary to what nearly everyone here is saying, I think that having ONE printed yellow pages book is fine. Recently I had a hot water pipe burst in the living room ceiling pouring water everywhere. After turning off the water where do you think I went; to the yellow pages trying to find a plumber on a Sunday morning. In emergency cases looking on-line is JUST TOO SLOW. Of those who live in buildings with stacks for yellow pages in the lobby it’s the building’s management is responsible to tell residents to pick one up or the books will be tossed by a specific date.

    • Really?

      Too slow? You must not be so hot with the google machine… especially since the internet can often tell you if the plumber even works on Sundays or during emergency late night hours…

    • frankenstein


      • Tabs

        You must mean Frankenstein’s monster.

        Frankenstein WAS DOCTOR MAN.

  • Wilburg

    Ha ha ha ha. You can opt out of receiving phone books at a mysterious website if you cough up your name, your address, your phone number, and the name of your favorite teddy bear. Good luck with that. Seriously, if they are ALREADY spamming you with garbage on your driveway (phonebooks), why would you provide them with your personal information. #fail

  • LPS4DL

    It depends on what you’re searching for. I have had great success and great failures using Google and others to find what I needed. On line search is great and getting better all the time but it’s still not always the best way to go. The Yellow Pages have been optimized for decades whereas on line search is still in its infancy. I believe the best strategy for important purchases is to start with the Yellow Pages to get a list of prospective businesses. Then I use an on line search to get more info from their web pages and from reviews. The smaller the purchase the more likely that the on line search will suffice. If it’s an emergency where you are out of power, the Yellow Pages rule.

    • drax


  • PS207

    I use both – whatever is most convenient for me.. It also depends on what i am looking for. Google and Bing are great for searching, but instead of just getting local business, I get everybody. Personally I want support my local community. I don’t know whether my search results are all my options . Whereas with the Yellow Pages I can go straight to the section and see my choices.. Phonebooks are easier when it comes to wanting several things at once. I agree with opting out of junk mail….that is out of hand. Btw – the optout site doesn’t sell your data look at the privacy policy. The reason they want contact details is to make sure that the following year you wont get a book if you are still at the same location. If you move locations and don’t let them know, you will get a book at the new address. Also the otherperson may want a book because their behavior is different than yours. Look at the big picture and not just yourself.

  • John Andre

    I only seem to get the Yellow Book directories which only have businesses. Apparently Verizon stopped publishing their big phone books a year or two ago.

    Would like to get a phone book which lists residences. What happened to the little red phone book for Arlington County?

  • truth be told



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