The familiar sight of yellow volumes sitting on doorsteps and in apartment building lobbies, still enclosed in plastic wrappers, will soon be a thing of the past for many people in New York State.
This week, the NYS Public Service Commission agreed to allow Verizon, the state’s biggest telephone network, to stop publishing telephone books. The yellow pages listings were long a staple of local business advertising, but have since been pushed into obsolescence by the rise of search and online directories.
On that note, in its petition to the NYSPSC, Verizon argued that most consumers no longer use or need telephone books, and that ceasing distribution of them would be better for the environment for any number of reasons, including reducing printing and fuel consumption.
The state previously agreed to allow Verizon to stop distributing residential white pages in 2010, saving an estimated 13,600 tons of paper per year.
Of course, nixing the yellow pages will also save Verizon some money.
Last year, the company handed out 6.3 million copies of its yellow pages, which typically contain government listings alongside businesses. Customers who still want their printed yellow pages can request a printed version of the directory.
While Verizon is the biggest phone company in the Empire State, there are 38 other local providers operating in the state as well, including Frontier and Windstream, all of which will have to continue publishing yellow pages, at least for the time being.
New York joins a growing list of states that have dumped the print listings.
So far a total of six states have shelved the requirement to publish both commercial and residential listings. Most states already changed their rules so phone companies only have to distribute residential listings when customers request them.
How little kids will eat their cereal while sitting in adult chairs remains to be seen.