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Topic: Blue Boxes going away?

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Subject: Blue Boxes going away?
Date Posted: 1/29/2010 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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A member has said this :

"Due to terrorist threats the blue boxes that take anything more than a thin envelope are going away.      MD,  DC area, APOs, Illinois have already

completed their blue box changes.  I'm surprised ANYONE still has that option to put packages in a bluebox!"


is this true?  We won't be able to mail pre-printed postage packages without going to the PO or a PO clerk any more?  This would be very bad for me.

Ruth

Date Posted: 1/29/2010 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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This is to the best of my knowledge, there could be things going on in other parts of the country that I would know nothing about.

There are two factors involed here and either one could be behind a drop box being replaced or eliminated.

The narrower slot is the result of the Unabomber and has been an ongoing project for several years now.  The slot is larger then a letter though, I think two inches but I'm not positive on that.

A lot of collection boxes are being removed from non-postoffice locations because of the low volume being deposited into them.  It's part of the PO's re-alighning carrier routes and them spending as much time as possible delivering mail.  They don't want a carrier to stop delivering mail to take it out of a drop box if it's not "worth the time".  Also where I live most of the boxes (but not all) are tapped by a collection route, carriers who do nothing but drive around collecting mail from boxes and businesses.  They are cutting back on them also.

Also, they replaced one of the larger boxes at my PO with a small one.  Instead of putting a hamper in it we now use a small plastic liner (basket).  This is at one of the two drive-though drop locations we have at this station.

 

 

Date Posted: 1/30/2010 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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I saw this post. I don't think it's true. 

I think a lot of people think "blue box" means the old post office boxes that used to be on every corner. At least that's what I'm thinking when people talk "small slot" because the blue box connected to the APC (usually but not allways) is wide mouthed to drop huge packages in. It's not even for letters. 

ETA: Ruth, just saw your post in the other thread. It'll be interesting to see what's said. Hopefully people are just thinking of the corner mailbox. It seems to me it would be a waste of money to get all these APC machines in and then take them all out again. If they took the blue boxes out then they'd have to take the APC out cuz there would be no place to mail the packages. 



Last Edited on: 1/30/10 12:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/30/2010 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Locally, we used to have 3 blue boxes.  One just disappeared, no idea if it was damaged or just scrapped.  Then the one outside our PO branch was vandalized and not replaced...it's just gone and we have to go inside to use the drop slot during off hours.  There's just one blue box left in town now, and I assume if there's any problems it too will be removed.

Nearby communities still have drive through blue boxes at PO...for now.



Last Edited on: 1/30/10 2:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/30/2010 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, that will be a pain since I have  to rely on family (all male, all not interested in doing more than putting PBS packages in a drive by mail box) to mail out my books.   I do wish that the USPS could get in synch with a workable plan to handle their business.  I do think that they do a great job under difficult circumstanes, and I am grateful for their service.  I'm just tired of getting confused with some things.

Ruth

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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Maybe they just figure there are too many blue boxes in some places? (Still keeping my fingers crossed).

We only have one in my city of 105,000, inside the post office next to the APC machine. Oh wait .... the post office on the way other side of town (other  zip code) has one too. But none outside, none near libraries or anything like that. 

The post office in the next town over never had one .... blue box or APC machine. 

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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dont forgot a lot of office buildings have mailboxes too
some time they even  slots for mailing packaages

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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We have a blue box outside of the office I work in.  About a year ago, the post office put a notice on it that they were going to take it out of service at a certain date.  When our Admin at work got wind of this, she immediately called the Post Office--finally got through to the right people there and saved our blue box.  They had said it was being removed because of low usage.  Now, our Admin makes sure everyone in the building is using the box for their outgoing mail. 

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 4:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 760
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I live in Illinois and I just put some letters in a blue box this morning. So it's at least not completely true.

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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When we lived inWA state I used the PBS postage more often because we had a drive up Blue Bin at the PO. It had it's own special lane and you could just drive up, toss your books in and then drive off.  No getting the kids out of the car, no going out in the rain.

Here there are only 2 that I've seen-one that you have to park at the PO and walk around to use and one in the walkway between Target and Giant.  I use that one sometimes but not very often.  I'm unemployed now and so I just go to the PO once a week.  I'm lucky in that I kind of live in an area where the mail centers of like 5 different towns are near each other.  So I have 5 PO's that are convenient to any errands I might have to run.

Date Posted: 2/3/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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I live in Illinois and I just put some letters in a blue box this morning. So it's at least not completely true.

This is where I'm wondering about the mix up is. A blue box doesn't take letters, just packages. It's a huge bin, not the regular old-fashioned mailboxes. 

dont forgot a lot of office buildings have mailboxes too
some time they even  slots for mailing packaages

Again, different animal. Blue boxes are only for mailing packages. I'm not even sure you can mail a book over 13 oz with preprinted postage in a regular mailbox. Can you? 



Last Edited on: 2/3/10 12:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/3/2010 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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The blue boxes are the outside drop or collection boxes, they take both letters and small packages, and as far as I know come in two sizes.  Is this what we are talking about here?

Date Posted: 2/4/2010 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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Steve, a "blue box" is the box (more like a bin) designed to only take packages. They are always connected to APC's in the post office but I guess some have them elsewhere as well. So when someone does the auto postage they have a place to drop their packages. Mail would just go in the regular mail slot.

But it is also a place where any package as long as it has preprinted postage can be dropped. I've dropped many book packages totaling 5 lbs in there ... it's a different type of bin. The opening is a pull down handle with an extremely large scoop where the package is placed.

They are not the same as regular mailboxes that also happen to be painted blue. 

I think we have a thread here where people are confusing the two.



Last Edited on: 2/4/10 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/4/2010 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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Thank you Susan, I think we've been talking about different "blue boxes".  The APCs we have here (two POs out of six have them) are set against the lobby wall and when mail and packages are deposited they go through the wall and into the PO and land in hampers.  I think it's a matter of terminology, when someone says "blue box" to a Postal employee we are going to think "drop box" or "collection box", they are all blue.

Date Posted: 2/4/2010 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I think it's a matter of terminology, when someone says "blue box" to a Postal employee we are going to think "drop box" or "collection box", they are all blue.

That's the only way I've ever heard it used and I believe that is where the term came from. I've never heard of the rollout drop slots at the PO referred to as a blue box. If I search the USPS site for blue boxes, they give the blue collection boxes around town. Those are also what are disappearing in alot of places because of lack of use and the sizing of the slots. 

I agree that removing the package drop beside the APC would be counter productive since the APC is there so that you can mail packages 24/7.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 63
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I live in Maryland in the DC area, and our blue boxes have not changed.  Some collection boxes are being removed, but the ones that remain are the same boxes as ever. 

Subject: Blue Boxes going away?
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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I live in the far corner of Texas. Our main post office on this side of the mountains has 6 drive up "blue" boxes in a separate lane right outside the PO. They have pull down handles, but they receive all kinds of mail. We even have several other "blue" boxes that receive all kinds of mail located in busy areas within a few mile radius of the PO. From what I've read in this forum, I feel we are greatly blessed. We even have 3 contract POs within a 3 mile radius. Those of us who live here should never complain, huh?  



Last Edited on: 2/9/10 11:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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Blue Box is a collection box either outside a post office, in a busy business area, etc. Long time ago (30-40 years) blue boxes were found on the corner of many neighborhoods. So blue boxes are being pulled when it isn't economically feasible to retain for little input and to have to have someone collect from such. The APC collection boxes in postal lobbies will need to stay - all a part of the APC program and drawing transactions away from an hourly paid employee.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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The APC near me is "freestanding" (not against any wall) - packages are dropped into a hamper inside the back of it. At the APC across town, the machine itself has no dropoff bin; that's in the wall across from it.


My P O has a (regular) blue box out front by the doors - the kind where you pull the handle down, place the package, and release to deposit (drop) the item(s) into the box. There's also a drive-by drop off blue box at the curb, which seems more what Steve was describing with a sort of narrow-ish "spout" to toss letters/small packages into.



Last Edited on: 2/18/10 5:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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Correct John, we call the "spout" a snorkel.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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be glad they call it a snokel

some of those look like an elphant truck <:)

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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be glad they call it a snokel

some of those look like an elphant trunks! :)

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2010
Posts: 3
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All collection boxes are blue. APCs have nothing to do with it. The USPS is attempting to remove as many of them as possible, based on the logic that was written above. ( Carrier's routes being condensed, no collection drivers, lower volumes) As a USPS employee, I encourage people to contact their elected officials regarding the dwindling of service form the USPS. And as Laura (above) said, complain to your local Postmaster. They actually are required to get public input before making changes that would reduce service.

All that being said, you can always request Carrier Pick Up and never leave your home at all!

:O)

Date Posted: 3/25/2010 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,797
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All that being said, you can always request Carrier Pick Up and never leave your home at all!

You can ask, that doesn't mean you'll get carrier pick up.

I have been told by both my carrier and my postmaster that my carrier does NOT have to pick up packages and he will not do so, unless they are priority mail.

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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Haha yeah I could never get carrier pick up, we don't even have street delivery. Have to have a PO Box here. Our P.O. is a one man show.

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