Local residents are in a “stir” over “everything from soup to nuts” being placed in their mail receptacles. “I’d like to put my garbage in their mail boxes for awhile and see if they would be so happy with it. This time of the year is the worst with elections, athletic programs, lawn services and that stuff. They don’t get the message even when you call to tell them that they can’t do it.” Mary T. remarked.
Numerous complaints have reached the local post office regarding these issues. When investigation was made concerning regulations for postal delivery and use of mail receptacles, it was discovered that nothing might be placed in mail receptacles except the mail. Due to possible theft of mail and fraud to unsuspecting recipients, the United States Postal Service (USPS) restricts the receptacle usage. “We do that so our customers privacy is intact and to keep the mail service from accusation of mail theft. People who put their advertisements and such in the mail receptacles can be prosecuted if mail theft is suspected,” commented Blaik Hickman, USPS postmaster for the Seymour office. “We try hard to safeguard the integrity of our customers and our workers by keeping the mailbox clear of anything but the mail. Their privacy (customers) is of utmost importance to us, which makes the laws necessary and fair to all.”
According to USPS regulation 2.1, “Receptacles may be used only for matter bearing postage…. No part of a receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail.”
No mailbox may have any advertising on the face of it or its support, except the name of the individual or representative business. All other advertising is prohibited. The post or other support for a curbside mailbox must be neat and of adequate strength and size. The post may not represent effigies or caricatures that tend to disparage or ridicule any person. The box may be attached to a fixed or movable arm.
Curbside mail receptacles may have newspaper receptacles attached to the post of a curbside mail delivery box used by the USPS. If the receptacle does not touch the mailbox, does not interfere with the delivery of mail, obstruct the view of the mailbox flag, or present a hazard to carrier or vehicle, newspaper boxes may remain. It may not extend beyond the front of the mailbox when the box door is closed and must not display advertising, except the publication title.
For more information regarding mail fraud and mail regulations, one may log-on to the USPS @ USPS.com or call 1-800-275-8777.

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