2006-10-25 / Features

Mailboxes Do Disappearing Act

Photo Liz Goff Many mailboxes, like this one at 31st Street and 37th Avenue, may soon be a thing of the past. Photo Liz Goff Many mailboxes, like this one at 31st Street and 37th Avenue, may soon be a thing of the past. If you think you're seeing fewer mailboxes on local street corners, you're probably right. U.S. Postal Service officials announced recently that the agency is eliminating many mailboxes, and has plans to remove 23,000 stamp vending machines by 2010. Postal officials cite a drop in the use of first-class mail as the reason for the disappearance of the familiar blue and white mailboxes.

Postal spokesperson Yvonne Yoerger said that as of December 2005, the Post Office had 295,052 "nationwide collection points", down from 337,230 in December 1999. Yoerger also said more people are purchasing stamps by mail, by phone order, at local stores and through letter carriers, eliminating the need for stamp vending machines.

Customers can still purchase stamps at local Post Offices and the Postal Service is also planning to increase the use of its automated postal centers, which sell stamps and prints postage on demand, Yoerger said.-Liz Goff

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