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End ‘phone book pollution’

Like locusts, they descend upon us every year — yellow and heavy and not needed in today’s digital world. Dropped onto our mailboxes, driveways and curbs, whether we want them or not, the annual delivery of phone books continues on.

The phone book is a dinosaur. Like the buggy whip, the Yellow Pages went out of need and fashion a long time ago as people discovered how easy it is to find business information on the internet.

Many friends and colleagues that I have talked to do not use paper phone books and don’t want them delivered to their homes, offices or businesses, where they end up in trash cans or recycling bins. We have called the phone book companies several times to “opt-out” of deliveries, yet the book is still delivered to our house.

Based on quick online research, there are over 500 million phone books that are published every year, with 8.3 million of those books printed for Oregon. Of this amount, approximately 80 percent end up in the trash, with 660,000 tons going into landfills.

The energy and resources used to create and deliver millions of phone books annually, along with the impact on our landfills, is a serious sustainability issue that needs to be addressed in our region and state.

In recent years, some cities have established the “opt-out” approach, which as noted earlier has not worked for us and still does not stop the delivery of phone books to the many households that don’t need or want them.

A more recent consideration has been to establish an “opt-in” approach, whereby phone books are only delivered if requested by an individual. This option seems to have the most promise, and cities or states should be able to tell all communications companies that no phone books are to be delivered unless specifically requested by a homeowner.

Our state Legislature has been considering the phone book issue and its waste of resources, energy and land for several years. Yet I understand that no legislation has been passed. As a citizen, business owner and city planner, I think it is time to add phone book pollution to the list of sensible sustainability initiatives that should be addressed by our state.

John LaMotte

Lake Oswego

Truly amazing

“Amazing Kids” is such a very excellent tradition that Pamplin Media Group has invented, for many reasons.

It makes us proud of our “taken for granted” neighborhood kids who are learning how to be our future leaders. It puts out examples of how kids can deliver and receive positive vibes, instead of too many news stories about kids gone bad. Perhaps this is my main prompt to send a note today.

And thanks to the sponsors who support this positive, welcomed story.

Dave Beach


Hot topics

Here’s what community members are talking about online. Join the conversation at http://www.lakeoswegoreview.com and http://www.facebook.com/LakeOswegoReview:

(“Dave Berg says he will run for mayor of Lake Oswego,” May 13): David will be an awesome choice for mayor. Being a business owner in Lake Oswego, I will love knowing David is minding the store.

— Kevin Kerwin

Dave is highly qualified to become LO’s next mayor and I wholeheartedly support his candidacy. As a longtime member of the Citize’s Budget Committee, he has a great grasp of the many fiscal challenges facing our community. I’ve observed his leadership skills in chairing this committee and have great admiration for how well he works with everyone, regardless of their particular position on an issue.

— Rick Parfrey

(“Dorn takes the reins at Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce,” May 9): Congrats, Syd. Now it’s a Dorn good chamber!

— Steve Abrew

The Review welcomes three categories of opinion from our readers: letters to the editor (300 words or less), political letters to the editor (200 words or less) and Citizen’s Views (550 words or less). All submissions must include the writer’s name, local address and telephone number — the latter two for verification purposes only — and should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline is 3 p.m. on the Monday before publication.