yellowpages.pngIn a case of serendipitous timing, the same day that Board of Supes president David Chiu plans on proposing a ban on unsolicited distribution of Yellow Pages directories in SF, the folks who make the Yellow Pages say they’re launching a site allowing you to opt out of receiving the tomes.

According to the SF Department of the Environment, it costs as much as $750,000 per year to recycle the volumes — that is, for the reported 1 million plus that manage to make it into the recycling in the first place.

Under Chiu’s proposal,Yellow Pages delivery people wouldn’t be allowed to leave the book for you unless you opt in (basically, subscribe) to receive it. Get a book when you didn’t request it and Yellow Pages could get fined as much as $500 per offense.

As one might expect, the folks behind the Yellow Pages view it as “an infringement of our constitutional rights,” and say they intend to fight the proposal, which they’ve done successfully in the past.

The wheels of legislation grind slowly, as we all know, if you want to end your Yellow Pages delivery now now now, the Yellow Pages folks say you can opt out using their new site.

I won’t lie — the process is a bit convoluted, requiring registration that involves as much personal information as you might expect, and the site is running very very slowly, and keep timing out. After 30 minutes I haven’t been able to successfully tell them I don’t want their stuff anymore, but I’ll keep on trying. Update 11:20 AM: Success! After over an hour of timeouts, I was able to unsubscribe. I feel better already.

If you try to unsub using the site, let us know how it worked for you? And let’s reconnect at Yellow Pages pass-out time, to see if our requests were honored.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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