US Postal Service Removed Nearly 40 Mailboxes Last Month

In what may be an indicator of snail mail's general decline, the US Postal Service removed nearly 40 mailboxes from San Francisco on April 19. Tipster Troy B. first brought this to our attention back in March when he saw the notice pictured below at his go to drop-off spot. 

A collection box removal notice. | Photo: Tipster Troy B./Hoodline

A 30-day notice was placed on all the mailboxes slated for removal. According to Augustine Ruiz of USPS' Corporate Communications department, receptacles were removed due to underuse. 

Postal service rules dictate that each box must receive at least 25 pieces of mail each day, but "the boxes listed fell well short of that threshold," said Ruiz via email, adding that "none of them had more than 25 pieces in them on any given day."

An overview of which neighborhoods saw the greatest losses. | Illustration: Hoodline

By removing them, USPS hopes to concentrate higher volumes of mail at boxes in higher-traffic areas, especially in front of existing post offices. To determine where customers are depositing mail, postal workers perform ongoing density checks, said Ruiz.

"This allows us to streamline our collection runs where we can collect the largest volume in strategically placed boxes in a more economical manner," said Ruiz.

Changing consumer habits have dramatically impacted planning and logistics at the Postal Service, Ruiz said. "For the past few years, we have seen double-digit increases in package volume, largely driven by online shopping. We also continue to see incremental growth in marketing mail, the mail that advertisers rely on to attract buyers of their products and services." 

San Franciscans are receiving so many home deliveries, waste management firm Recology hopes for a bump in monthly fees so it can recycle more cardboard boxes. In an SFGate article, a Recology spokesperson described the phenomenon as the "Amazon effect."

Here's a complete list of all the mailboxes removed last month:

  • 2400 OCTAVIA ST
  • 2400 LAGUNA ST
  • 1801 PACIFIC AVE
  • 1114 SUTTER ST
  • 1099 JONES ST
  • 1700 TURK ST
  • 2201 WASHINGTON ST
  • 2598 DIVISADERO ST
  • 1400 BAKER ST
  • 1251 TURK ST
  • 251 ANZAVISTA AVE
  • 1195 DIVISADERO ST
  • 2099 GEARY BLVD
  • 1 FORTUNA AVE
  • 1001 BRODERICK ST
  • 95 BARCELONA AVE
  • 2999 BUSH ST
  • 3500 RIVERA ST
  • 3500 VICENTE ST
  • 70 LUPINE AVE
  • 3401 JACKSON ST
  • 3500 WASHINGTON ST
  • 101 ANZA ST
  • 198 STANYAN ST
  • 602 FUNSTON AVE
  • 6 CHABOT TER
  • 2844 FULTON ST
  • 691 PARKER AVE
  • 590 11TH AVE
  • 270 MASONIC AVE
  • 2 CASA WAY
  • 2501 GREEN ST
  • 798 FRANCISCO ST
  • 1098 FILBERT ST
  • 898 CHESTNUT ST
  • 1098 UNION ST

Is your neighborhood mailbox on the map? Do you think this is a good strategy? Let us know in the comments.

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Us postal service removed nearly 40 mailboxes last month