Could grabbing your mail from a mailbox on your front lawn become a thing of the past? Supporters of one proposed drastic change say swapping door-to-door service with delivery to group mailboxes in neighborhoods could save billions of dollars and help the Postal Service survive financial hardship. But a lot of people don't like the idea.
Some say senior citizens or disabled adults would be most affected by a switch away from door-to-door service. And others say security concerns are enough to give them hesitations. The mailman bringing a package right to your door could become increasingly rare. That's because cluster mailboxes like this could be placed in neighborhoods around the country.
"It seems like all these services, even when you go to the grocery store, now they want you to bag your own groceries," said Rose Miller. "Now the government wants you to get a cluster mailbox, and everybody wants you to email them back and forth, like, send me the email. It's like all the service, things are being taken away, and people are having less jobs."
Government reports say requiring everyone to go to a cluster box for more centralized delivery will save the USPS $4.5 Billion a year. "Well, everybody's lookin' for a savings, basically. But is the savings really worth it. Look at the overall picture of it, versus just one issue," said Lorene Range.
But some say cluster mailboxes like this could be less secure than individual delivery. "People run through the neighborhoods, and they could actually a cluster of mailboxes...checks could be missing, money could be missing, governmental documents could be missing, so I prefer the private," said Miller.
Unions are against the elimination of door-to-door delivery because of concerns about accessibility and safety of senior citizens and disabled adults. And many agree, but some say they're thankful to be more mobile should the change come into effect.
"For me, you know because I like the exercise, I can take that cluster mailbox. But there are some times people, they're in situations and because of problems, they may not like it. So you can go either way on that," said J. W. Miller.
However you may feel about it, the postman's days of delivering mail to your own home could be numbered. One postal worker we spoke with says soaring gas prices continue to make deliveries more expensive. The Postal Service's Office of Inspector General found cluster boxes could cut delivery costs nearly in half. The cluster mailbox idea was introduced by Republican California Congressman Darrell Issa.
The Postal Service is trying to institute cluster mailboxes in new developments while it waits on help from Congress to continue paying employee benefits.