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“When is that campaign to stop delivery of unwanted phone books going to make some progress?” asks local blog “We Built This City” under a photo of 8 unused Yellow Pages books. To the dismay of WBTC and others, not for a while — but in a marvelous demonstration of internet synergy, an Austrian website just might have a hint on what you can do with your books instead.

The proposed opt-in measure’s on hold for now, until San Francisco’s Office of Economic Analysis completes a review of possible negative economic impacts were it to be implemented. Even if the measure passes, the pilot opt-in program would not start until May 2012.

So WBTC and everyone else will have to wait at lease a while longer — we don’t have word yet on when that review will be completed. In the meantime, while it doesn’t help with the books currently littering your lobby/entryway/home, don’t forget you can opt out for the next round of phone tomes online. So that’s something.

As for the ones you do have? Austrian website KEMS* points us towardTokyo-based artist Koshi Kawachi‘s “Manga Farming” technique — which uses old Japanese comic books “as a growing medium for vegetables….by cultivating a crop of radish sprouts in an installation at the Matsuzakaya department store in Nagoya.”

Given the recent salmonella tainted sprout recall, this might be a great time to start growing your own, eh? If you scroll down the right on this page you can get a pretty good idea of how Kawachi did this (seems like you might need some sticks and rubber bands). Why not try it yourself?

*which I would not have seen had Brittney Gilbert not shared the article via Google Reader. Thanks, Brittney!

Photo of Koshi Kawachi’s Manga Farm: KEMS

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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 eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • SF94122

    niice.. if my phone book cover looked like that, I would probably keep it around : )

    As for the current version.. already recycled.

  • Fred

    I checked out that opt-out website. To opt out of yellow pages, you have to give them your phone number, which creates a “business relationship” with them. That’s a sneaky way for them to get around the national Do Not Call Registry. Unfortunately, this means they’ll pollute our apartment lobby again next time, from which they’ll go straight to the recycling bin. What a waste of time and resources!