Residents Can Cancel Phone Book Delivery

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 1:32pm

Madison residents are inundated with phone books every year. Now there is a way for everyone to cancel the delivery of unwanted directories with a click of the mouse.

"I was surprised to learn that I could receive as many as six different phone books at my house," Madison recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said. "The reality is that I really only need one phone book and I don't need a new one every year."

Some communities have passed ordinances attempting to restrict the delivery of phone directories or tax them to pay for their recycling. These local attempts to regulate the distribution of phone books can lead to court challenges. Many of the communities that are enacting ordinances have problems or high costs getting their phone books recycled.

"In Madison, phone books are easily recycled in the regular curbside program where they generate $18 to $22 per ton in revenue," Dreckmann said. "The problem comes when unwanted directories and put in the trash."

"We researched banning or regulating phone books in Madison and determined that we should not pursue that avenue at this time," Dreckmann said. "Instead we are encouraging residents to take advantage of a web page that will allow them to opt out of receiving phone books."

The web page, which is sponsored by an industry group, The Association of Directory Publishers, can be found at You can also find a link to the opt out at the Streets Division's web page

"We hope that people take advantage of the opt out service," Dreckmann said. "We would prefer to work with the directory publishers rather than pursue regulations."

  • George Dreckmann, 267-2626