Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mailcycling box: Unmail your Junk

An easy way recycle 100,000 trees worth of paper/year
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

The problem is that paper is so cheap that it's almost not worth recycling. But...since the post office brings you so much unwanted paper, and the mail carrier is already at your house, with minimal effort, he or she could take back the junkmail to a big shredder at the post office. Why not deliver new mail and take old mail back?

Turn the mailperson into a recycler because he or she is already there.

I think mail boxes should have two compartments. The upper one being the actual mailbox and the one underneath being another box where you just sort your mail and put all the unwanted ads and old mail in the lower mailbox.

When the postal worker comes around he or she delivers your mail and takes the contents of the lower box back to be shredded/recycled.

For banks of mailboxes, there would just be a single junkmail slot with a big bin underneath to make it easier on the post office.

ShawnBob, Apr 11 2010

youtube: The garbage man can http://www.youtube....watch?v=siEpf5SL3Hw
[rcarty, Apr 11 2010]


       Wouldn't it be better to have an app in the post office that shows you an image via the web, and you "accept or shred" (I seem to recall putting such an idea up, at least on the old HB before the great crash).
pashute, Apr 11 2010

       The mail person could run their bicycle powered by the junk mail, instead of going with it all the way back to the post office. I'm sure there's a way to make a motor that runs on paper with minimal pollution.
pashute, Apr 11 2010

       The bicycle can be harnessed to a goat.
rcarty, Apr 11 2010

       Recycling is not really the best option - reducing production is better. So rather than taking it back to the post-office for recycling, the postie could just post it on next door.
Then everybody is happy. The junk-mailer just needs a few letters for an entire street, the postal worker doesn't have to do so much carrying, fewer trees need be used and less energy is needed for recycling.
Loris, Apr 11 2010

       yeah I know...reduction in junk mail is better, but lets face it...not gonna happen in my lifetime, especially since a large portion of post office revenue comes from junkmailing. I actually read that as the economy tanked, companies reduced junkmail and the revenue stream of the post office went into deficit.
ShawnBob, Apr 11 2010

       [ShawnBob] As you point out, the problem is that the post office's interests align with those of the junk mail sender. Let's change that: Post office requires that all 3rd class bulk mail have a return address, and that the sender pre- pay a fraction of return postage (the fraction being based on the percentage of junk mail actually returned). The recipient drops the junk mail back in the mailbox, post office returns it to the sender.   

       This could be promoted as a green initiative, like the laws in some countries (I believe) requiring that manufacturers also provide for disposal of their products when worn out or obsolete. In reality though, it's a way 1) for the post office to charge twice for the same mail and 2) to inundate the senders of junk mail with junk mail (serves them right, the dirty boggers).
mouseposture, Apr 11 2010

       I didn't think it would require a bigger truck anyway...The mail person wouldn't be taking more mail back on average than he or she brings...the only difference is that the truck would come back full of recyled mail paper instead of being empty.   

       When the mailperson brings the mail he just walks back to the truck with (at most) yesterdays mail (instead of going back emptyhanded)...it's like a net zero increase in mail as far as the truck is concerned.   

       If junkmail increases faster than the post office brings it there is a bigger problem than I thought!
ShawnBob, Apr 12 2010

       What Loris said. edit: YEAH THAT'S RIGHT WE'RE BACK. 16 bears what I do!
Voice, Apr 13 2010


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