Does AT&T hate the environment?

How many times a year do we have to write the words, “It’s that time of year again?” Well, ITTOYA. Last week when we got home from work, there was a big plastic bag full of phone books sitting on the driveway again. It’s kind of like the feeling those old folks must have felt on Halloween night when we put our poo-filled grocery bags on their front porch, set them ablaze and rang the door bell.

And it’s not bad enough that these piles of waste contain one set of the yellow pages. Now they dump two volumes of the same yellow pages into our homes. Two copies of the yellow pages is a crime against the planet.

This crap’s gotta stop. In delivering those books to homes that don’t want them, Nevada Bell or whatever the hell they call themselves these days, waste gas, kill trees, and then, in their sick little co-dependent cycle, force us to take the never-opened books to the recycling bin, which probably burns a few more gallons of gas.

Why is this not littering? Why is it acceptable for the phone company to leave calling cards on our driveway to tell burglars we’re away for the whole Thanksgiving week?

We know why they do it. They do it because they tell advertisers they have a certain usership. It works along the lines of newspaper advertising—the more the circulation, the more we can charge for advertising. You see it all the time with the Reno Gazette-Journal, continuing to deliver after subscriptions are cancelled, handing out free copies, etc. The difference is that the Reno Gazette can make claims that people will actually see their advertisers. In an informal office survey, we all agreed the phone books are only good for white pages, emergencies and target practice. Nobody uses them on a regular basis.

We are not suggesting phone-book advertisers, in these times of global warming and economic downturns, stop advertising. We’re simply saying you have the power to force some positive change in the planet-killing yellow pages, big corporations and off brands.

OK, peeps, first, here’s the information for where you can recycle your phone book after you check out blast patterns. Go to the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful website at There will probably be other groups that pop up to recycle the things, and we’ll keep you appraised in the Green section that begins on page 10.

Now, here’s where the creative minds in the world headquarters of the Reno News & Review come in to help super-mega-corporation SBC/AT&T show a little global good citizenship.

Give us an opt-out program. Do we need to explain it, again? ("Trees die,” Dec. 13, 2007) We get to check “No, I do not want to receive this giant dog turd on my front porch.” And then, you don’t produce or deliver it. And don’t send a separate mailing—put the check-off in a monthly bill or on the online statement.

Pay RSW one day to pick up phone books on their regular recycling routes. That way, at least the carbon footprint of thousands of cars driving to recycling centers is diminished.

Put up kiosks in the big shopping center parking lots so only people who don’t know how to use the internet, or whose young children need booster seats at the supper table, will pick them up.

C’mon, you giant corporate neighbor. We don’t want these damned things unless we want them. Much of the world has moved beyond paper and cardboard phone directories. Couldn’t you at least send them in a searchable format on a DVD or something?