An ordinance said to be the first of its kind in the country took effect Thursday penalizing directory distributors who drop directories at the homes of people who have registered online that they do not want them, The Seattle Times reported. The penalty is $125 per offense and the law also imposes a fee of 14 cents for every directory that is delivered.
The city has created a Web page, www.seattle.gov/stopphonebooks, so residents can register online.
"The city of Seattle cares about the environment and it's extremely frustrating to return home someday to find 5 pounds of yellow pages on your porch that you're never going to use," City Councilman Mike O'Brien said.
Recycling old yellow pages costs Seattle $350,000 a year.
O'Brien became passionate about the issue last year when he registered to opt out of yellow pages deliveries on the Local Search Association Web site and received a directory two months later. He then told constituents to bring their unwanted directories to his office and got about 1,000 of them.