Phone Book Production Outnumbers U.S. Population 2-1
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The number of phone books published each year in the U.S. outnumbers the population by 2 to 1.
Despite the hundreds of millions of phone books that show up on America's doorsteps, lawmakers across the nation have had little success in placing limits on the distribution.
Recent legislation that would empower residents to opt out of receiving phonebooks has failed or stalled in at least seven states.
In Albany, city councilman Joseph Igoe is trying to build support for a law that would limit the distribution of phone books and require publishers to make it easy for people to halt delivery.
He said he has seen phone books wrapped in plastic littering sidewalks, driveways and lawns.
Phone book publishing is a $17 billion-a-year business. Publishers admit that many people receive more phone directories than they need, but they also say the marketplace -- not the government -- should determine the number of phone books distributed.