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Directory dilemma 

In San Francisco, if you want a copy of the yellow pages, you have to ask for it. City law prohibits delivery of the phone books to anyone who hasn't specifically requested them.

A similar opt-in system could cut down on the number of unwanted or unused phone books that sit in piles at Rochester-area apartment buildings and office complexes, says Frank Regan, chair of the local Sierra Club's Zero Waste Committee. And Regan says he and other like-minded club members are planning to start a campaign for a local opt-in law.

Frontier Communications publishes two directories, one for residential listings and one for business listings. The residential phone book is already distributed on an opt-in basis, says Desiree Demanincor, the company's director of directory services and operations. But anyone who doesn't want the business directory has to say so.

Frontier sells ads in its business directory, which contains white and yellow page listings, so the company wants to make sure as many people as possible see and use it, Demanincor says.

Frontier published and distributed approximately 500,000 business directories this year, all printed on recycled paper, she says. The delivery contractor reported receiving notes from 102 customers asking not to get the books, she says.

And if Frontier is notified of unused phone books lying around, it will pick them up, she says.

"We want to be a good neighbor," Demanincor says.

Frontier is not the only yellow pages publisher in the Rochester area; Yellowbook also produces a directory. To opt out of delivery of any local phone book, go to www.yellowpagesoptout.com.

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