Raleigh, N.C. — Door-to-door delivery of mail could be a thing of the past for some in an effort by the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service to cut costs.
Local postmasters are sending letters to new developments in communities across the country informing them that they plan to move to a centralized system for delivering mail.
It's similar to the set-up in many apartment complexes in which residents get their mail from what's called a "cluster mailbox" – numerous mailboxes in one location.
The postal service estimates that it could save $4.5 billion each year by eliminating door-to-door stops – approximately $2.5 billion more than it estimated earlier this year when it considered eliminating Saturday deliveries.
"I think it's terrific. It's easier for the mailman," said postal customer Harry Melikian. "He can deliver to 25 or 30 residences in one stop."
But Melikian says he can see downsides to the plan.
"It might be a little disadvantageous for people who are older."
Others say they would be upset if their mailbox went away if they lived in a house.
"You pay for the house, you own the property, and you want a mailbox," said postal customer Mike Duncan.
If the centralized delivery system is adopted, it would mostly affect mail delivery in new developments. There are no plans, at this point, to retrofit older neighborhoods.