July 6 – 12, 2018 Vol. 20, No. 5

Summertime in the Belgrades

July 6 – 12


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A Waste Reduction Tip for Us All?

by Susan Littlefield

The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place.

Consider telephone directories. Each year, as regularly as a head cold or spring allergy, telephone directories land on my door step. I can't even read them even if "New Larger Print" is claimed on the cover. I used to keep them, stacked up in a corner,…just in case. And sometimes the photos of baby loons on the cover have made them just too precious to toss.

But think about it. How often do you consult a telephone directory? Personally, I store telephone numbers important to me on my cell phone, computer or a sticky, and those I'm looking for are almost always internet-accessible in places like whitepages.com and EZtoUse.com.

  • Each year the telephone book industry uses up an estimated 4.68 million trees worth of wood fiber, or 14 football fields worth of forest, per day.
  • Telephone directories are a burden on our local town governments, who pay nearly $60 million annually in recycling and disposal fees for unwanted phone books.
  • Currently, tossed telephone directories…which belong in the newspaper recycling bin…are facing a buyer crisis due to the confluence of events over the past few years: The closing of all but one (Hutahmaki) paper mills in Maine, lower newspaper readership and stricter import policies in the country of China — they no longer want our soggy, dirty paper trash.

You can help put the brakes on this waste creation and cost by opting out of unnecessary telephone book deliveries at your home, business or work place.

How do you do this?

  1. Visit yellowpagesoptout.com.
  2. Enter your zip code and hit "Get Started" to register.
  3. After registration, you will be shown images of the directories you are now receiving at your address.
  4. You will then be asked if you want to opt out of receiving some of them or all of them.
  5. Then, hit "Save Changes" and "Confirm." You will receive a summary of your changes by email.

The phone book opt-out opportunity may not be new to many of you since it began in the Northwest states nearly ten years ago. If it's good news to you, however, pass it on.