Bill S3833-2013

Regulates the distribution of telephone directories and requires distributors to collect and recycle them

Regulates the distribution of telephone directories and requires distributors to collect and recycle them.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Feb 21, 2013: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3833

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law and the general business law, in relation to telephone directory reduction and recycling

PURPOSE: To reduce and eliminate unwanted and unsolicited telephone directories by requiring distributors of these directories to notify recipients of the option and means to decline delivery of these publications. This legislation would also require that, to the maximum extent practicable, the directories be printed on paper that is recyclable and contains not less than 30% post-consumer recycled fiber, use inks that contain no heavy metals or other toxic material and be bound with materials that pose no unreasonable barriers to recycling such directories.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of this bill amends Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law by adding a new title 29 entitled Telephone Directory Reduction and Recycling. This new title provides that every distributor of telephone directories to the general public shall ensure that, to the maximum extent practicable, the directories be printed on paper that is recyclable and contains not less than 30% post-consumer recycled fiber, use inks that contain no heavy metals or other toxic materials, and be bound with materials that pose no unreasonable barriers to recycling such directories.

Section 2 of this bill amends section 336 of the general business law by adding a new subdivision 4 that requires distributors of all telephone directories to notify recipients of the option and means to decline delivery of these publications.

JUSTIFICATION: Despite their usefulness, telephone directories have become a significant portion of the waste stream, estimated at 650,000 tons yearly in the US. The number of directories delivered to households and businesses has increased as publishers and distributors compete for attention. Most households or businesses receive unsolicited multiple directories. These unwanted and unused publications are generating excessive and unnecessary waste.

The highest priority in the solid waste hierarchy is prevention or avoidance of waste generation. This bill should significantly reduce the number of telephone directories entering the waste stream by limiting delivery to only those who want them. The second highest priority in the solid waste hierarchy is waste recovery -- recovering phone books for reuse or recycling achieves that goal.

This legislation would also require that, to the maximum extent possible, the directories be printed on paper that is recyclable and contains not less than 30% post-consumer recycled fiber, use inks that contain no heavy metals or other toxic material and be bound with materials that pose no unreasonable barriers to recycling such directories.

A 2006 EPA study, Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases, found that every ton of reduction of phone book generation eliminates GHG emissions of 1.72 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE). Additionally, for every ton of recovered material used in place of virgin material for the manufacturing of new phone books, GHG emissions are reduced by 0.72 MTCE.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:None to the State

EFFECTIVE DATE:This bill takes effect one year after it shall have become a law


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3833 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 21, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law and the general busi- ness law, in relation to telephone directory reduction and recycling THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Article 27 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new title 29 to read as follows: TITLE 29 TELEPHONE DIRECTORY REDUCTION AND RECYCLING SECTION 27-2901. DEFINITIONS. 27-2903. DISTRIBUTOR RESPONSIBILITIES S 27-2901. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS TITLE: 1. "DISTRIBUTOR" MEANS ANY PERSON OR ENTITY ENGAGED IN THE DISTRIB- UTION OF TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. 2. "TELEPHONE DIRECTORY" MEANS A PRINTED PUBLICATION LISTING: A. THE NAMES, ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF BUSINESSES BY TYPE, AND CONTAINING ADVERTISEMENTS PROMOTING THOSE BUSINESSES OR THE PRODUCTS THEY SELL; AND/OR B. THE NAMES, ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF INDIVIDUALS, BUSI- NESSES AND GOVERNMENT LISTINGS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER. S 27-2903. DISTRIBUTOR RESPONSIBILITIES. 1. EVERY DISTRIBUTOR SHALL ENSURE THAT EACH TELEPHONE DIRECTORY PROVIDED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC SHALL: A. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PRACTICABLE BE PRINTED ON PAPER THAT IS RECYCLABLE AND CONTAINS NOT LESS THAN THIRTY PERCENT POST-CONSUMER RECY- CLED FIBER; B. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PRACTICABLE BE PRINTED WITH INKS THAT CONTAIN NO HEAVY METALS OR OTHER TOXIC MATERIALS; C. BE BOUND WITH MATERIALS THAT POSE NO UNREASONABLE BARRIERS TO RECY- CLING THE TELEPHONE DIRECTORY;
D. INCLUDE A CONSPICUOUS NOTICE WHICH SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH ANY GUIDELINES OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT PROVIDES INFORMATION ON THE APPROPRI- ATE MEANS OF RECYCLING DISCARDED TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES; E. INCLUDE A CONSPICUOUS NOTICE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX OF THE GENERAL BUSINESS LAW, THAT INDI- CATES HOW A CONSUMER MAY DECLINE TO RECEIVE FUTURE DIRECTORIES. S 2. Section 336 of the general business law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. (A) EVERY TELEPHONE DIRECTORY HEREAFTER DISTRIBUTED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN THIS STATE OR IN ANY PORTION THEREOF WHICH LISTS THE CALLING NUMBERS OF TELEPHONES OF ANY TELEPHONE EXCHANGE LOCATED IN THIS STATE SHALL CONTAIN A CONSPICUOUS NOTICE PROVIDING INFORMATION IN CLEAR, CONCISE LANGUAGE THAT THE CONSUMER MAY "OPT-OUT" BY DECLINING RECEIPT OF FUTURE PRINT DIRECTORIES. SUCH NOTICE SHALL ALSO INCLUDE THE TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER AND INTERNET WEB SITE ADDRESS THAT AN INDIVIDUAL MAY USE TO DECLINE RECEIPT OF FUTURE PRINT DIRECTORIES. IN ADDITION, THE DISTRIBUTOR MAY INCLUDE A PREPAID POSTCARD WITH THE DIRECTORY THAT MAY BE USED TO DECLINE RECEIPT OF FUTURE PRINT DIRECTORIES. (B) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE DISTRIB- UTION OF RESIDENTIAL WHITE PAGE DIRECTORIES BY A TELEPHONE CORPORATION PROVIDING LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICE IN THIS STATE THAT, PURSUANT TO A WAIV- ER FROM THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF ITS RULES REGARDING DISTRIB- UTION OF SUCH DIRECTORIES, IS AUTHORIZED TO DISCONTINUE DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED DIRECTORIES TO CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE NOT "OPTED-IN" BY INDICATING A PREFERENCE TO RECEIVE SUCH PRINTED DIRECTORIES, PROVIDED THAT THE WAIVER INCLUDES SUCH CONDITIONS AS THE COMMISSION DEEMS APPROPRIATE TO ENSURE THE PROVISION OF NOTIFICATION THAT REACHES ALL CUSTOMERS OF THEIR OPTION TO RECEIVE DELIVERY OF SUCH DIRECTORIES. S 3. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 336- aa to read as follows: S 336-AA. RESPONSIBILITIES OF DISTRIBUTORS OF TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES. 1. UPON NOTIFICATION THAT DELIVERY OF A PRINT TELEPHONE DIRECTORY HAS BEEN DECLINED AS PROVIDED IN SECTION THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX OF THIS ARTICLE, THE DISTRIBUTOR SHALL DISCONTINUE DIRECTORY DELIVERY TO THE DECLINING CONSUMER. A DISTRIBUTOR MAY COMPLY WITH THIS SUBDIVISION BY REDUCING THE NUMBER OF DIRECTORIES DELIVERED TO A MULTIPLE DWELLING BY THE NUMBER OF OCCUPANTS DECLINING SUCH DELIVERY. 2. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, A DISTRIBUTOR MAY RESUME DIRECTORY DELIVERY TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY DECLINED DELIVERY, PROVIDED THAT SUCH INDIVIDUAL REQUESTS RESUMPTION OF DELIVERY BY USE OF THE DISTRIBUTOR'S TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER OR INTERNET WEB SITE ADDRESS OR BY OTHER WRITTEN REQUEST. 3. WHENEVER THERE SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION OR OF SUBDIVI- SION FOUR OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX OF THIS ARTICLE, AN APPLI- CATION MAY BE MADE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO A COURT OR JUSTICE HAVING JURISDICTION TO ISSUE AN INJUNCTION, AND UPON NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT OF NOT LESS THAN FIVE DAYS, TO ENJOIN AND RESTRAIN THE CONTINUANCE OF SUCH VIOLATIONS; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE THAT THE DEFENDANT HAS IN FACT, VIOLATED THIS SECTION, AN INJUNCTION MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH COURT OR JUSTICE, ENJOINING AND RESTRAINING ANY FURTHER VIOLATION, WITHOUT REQUIRING PROOF THAT ANY PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED THEREBY. IN ANY SUCH PROCEEDING THE COURT MAY MAKE ALLOWANCES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS PROVIDED IN SECTION EIGHTY-THREE HUNDRED THREE OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, AND DIRECT RESTITU-
TION. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE PROOF AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRAC- TICE LAW AND RULES. WHENEVER THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED, THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A SINGLE VIOLATION AND NOT MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS RESULTING FROM A SINGLE ACT OR INCIDENT. NO PERSON, FIRM, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE VIOLATED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION IF SUCH PERSON, FIRM, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION SHOWS, BY A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE, THAT THE VIOLATION WAS NOT INTENTIONAL AND RESULTED FROM A BONA FIDE ERROR MADE NOTWITHSTANDING THE MAINTENANCE OF PROCEDURES REASONABLY ADOPTED TO AVOID SUCH ERROR. S 4. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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