Last week many households found the arrival of new telephone directory books from AT&T. If your household is anything like mine, you take these books unopened and unused and deposit them directly in the recycle bins outside the AT&T building on Broad street. The books take up space and sometimes the printed directory can quickly become out of date. Sometimes phone numbers can be found in older versions of the directory, and usually phone numbers can be found in online directories. The books are obsolete and unwieldy.
Judging from the pile of brand new, unopened phone directories I saw in the recycle bins today, I am thinking that many people may agree that these directories are a huge waste of resources. There's the paper, the energy that it takes to print them, the energy that it takes to deliver them, and the energy that it takes to recycle them.
I understand that many businesses may pay for advertising in the directories and may count on customers finding them there. However, if people are tossing the book without ever using it they certainly are not going to be a good target audience for this type of advertisement. The piles speak for themselves; people are looking up numbers online and in other sources so there's no reason why advertising can't make the same shift.
I plan to call AT&T to find out if they can put me on a list for "no printed phone directory please" so that I will not receive the books in the future. It can't hurt to make sure that AT&T hears from everyone who thinks that the phone directories are a waste of resources. Collectively we can send a message that waste reduction is something we care about in our community. I found some AT&T numbers which I listed below including a couple local ones. The first number listed is specifically pertaining to the directory books. There are also some online contact options at att.com
Directory Resource Center: 1-800-922-0008