BERKELY (KCBS) – The City of Berkeley is seeking to develop an ordinance that would make it easy for locals to decline delivery of Yellow Pages and other catalogs.

At a Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday, it was agreed that AT&T would be sent a letter asking it to honor a voluntary opt-out program. The pilot program with was approved at a city council meeting last year as a way to stop unwanted catalog and phone book deliveries.

The goal is to eliminate the estimated 50,000 Berkeley phone books that go from the front porch, straight into the recycling bin.

In May, San Francisco banned the unsolicited distribution of Yellow Pages, the first such ordinance in the nation.  Seattle passed an ordinance last year that created a registry that allows residents to opt-out of receiving the books. A federal judge upheld the ordinance after a challenge from publishers.

At the next meeting, council members will tackle the tougher issue of creating an ordinance similar to Seattle’s but tailored specifically for Berkeley.

KCBS’ Susan Leigh Taylor Reports:

Berkeley residents can currently opt out of catalog deliveries, but compliance by phone book publishers is voluntary. At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, councilman Gordon Wozniak said that not everyone wants to play along.

“The others have cooperated,” said Wozniak. “So you can go to the Catalog Choice site and opt out very easily, but if you want to do it with AT&T and you go to their site … it’s very cumbersome.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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