Setting the Record Straight in Seattle

As we’ve discussed frequently here on the blog, the Local Search Association joined with ADP earlier this year to upgrade, a nationwide opt-out website that ensures that consumers have an easy way to manage the delivery of phonebooks to their home.

Today in Seattle, the City Council announced the launch of its own government-run website, one that is an unnecessary duplication of our efforts, increases waste, and lacks the efficiencies and privacy guarantees that we worked so hard to incorporate into our site.

To put it bluntly, we think the site is a waste of government’s time and taxpayer’s money and puts the privacy of Seattle residents at risk. The best option for opting out of Yellow Pages directories both in Seattle and across the country continues to be, which has  successfully processed thousands of opt-out requests since February.

Misinformation from the Seattle City Council also extends to statistics released by Seattle councilmember Mike O’Brien and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) that greatly exaggerate the environmental impact of print directories. This data falsely implies that phone books create 100 pounds of unwanted paper each year per household. According to the city’s own estimates, Seattle recycles approximately 1,500 tons of phone books, or less than 2% of total recyclables each year – a far cry from the 17,500 tons claimed by SPU. In fact, through proactive industry efforts, the amount of directory paper in the market has declined by nearly 35% since 2007.

Read our press release for additional information on the  benefits of, and our industry’s ongoing efforts to provide valuable and sustainable local search options.

3 Responses to “Setting the Record Straight in Seattle”

  1. Dick Larkin says:

    Unfortunately, the Seattle leadership is focused on issues that will not significantly benefit their constituents.

    It might feel to them like they are making progress, but nothing great has ever been created by trimming the waste of someone else’s creation..

    Would forcing Starbucks to require their patrons to bring in non-disposable cups make Seattle a better place to live, work, and grow? It would eliminate waste, for sure.

    So what is their goal? Improve the opt-out process by 10%? And this is going to move Seattle forward?


    Directories build local commerce.

    The ONLY reason Yellow Pages directories exist is to connect local business and other organizations with the community.

    Directories are funded solely by businesses who invest their hard earned money because they KNOW that every dollar invested is returned many times over in the form of new business.

    These companies hire local residents, invest in property, equipment, and inventory.

    The businesses pay taxes and provide valuable services.

    For Mike O’Brien and the leadership of Seattle to focus on eliminating “waste” because some of the directories are delivered to people who do not use them is to put energy on activities rather than focus on how they can benefit local businesses and help them grow.

  2. Neg Norton says:

    Completely agree Dick. You would think Seattle would have bigger problems to solve than legislating an industry already doing the right things, that is a miniscule portion of the waste stream, and—-to your point—is an economic growth driver. A head scratcher for sure.

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