Sustainability Victory for Seattle and Overbrook Grantee

Due to long-term goals and often complex measures of success, many sustainability and conservation projects tend to progress slowly and incrementally. So a clear "green victory" is always cause for celebration -- and even more so when an Overbrook Foundation Environment grantee is at its center!

The Product Stewardship Institute, supported for the first time by Overbrook in June of this year, just participated in a major victory for resource conservation in Seattle. The City Council passed a phone book opt-out ordinance last night, requiring directory publishers to pay for phone book recycling costs and making it easy for consumers, through a registry, to prevent unwanted yellow pages from appearing on their doorsteps. Seattle's is the nation's first phone book opt-out program, and with vigilance its influence will spread to other cities.

Overbrook directed its PSI funding last June toward the consumer opt-out campaign for phone books, a project PSI has been working on for a number of state and local governments since 2006. Although Seattle passed legislation the battle continues; it is estimated that discarded phone books account for 660,000 tons in the waste stream each year, and opt-out programs are critical for saving trees and money spent on recycling costs.

Catalog Choice, also an Overbrook grantee, partnered with PSI on the phone book registry.

Read the Seattle City Council ordinance here.