Online Staff Report
BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. — The Postal Service is reminding the public that the amnesty period to return postal-owned equipment, especially pallets and mail tubs, continues through Nov. 26.
“The Postal Service spent nearly $50 million this past fiscal year to replace equipment that was never returned,” said postal spokesman Sean Hargadon. “This is a serious issue. We are in a financial crisis and simply cannot afford this type of unnecessary expense. The equipment is federal property, and we want it back.”
The amnesty period to return mail transport equipment (MTE) began Nov. 12. Anyone possessing Postal Service MTE is strongly encouraged to return it during the remaining time period and no questions will be asked. Recent equipment recoveries were made by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (go to postalinspectors.uspis.gov/ for additional details).
During the amnesty period, small amounts of equipment can be dropped off at local Post Offices or nearby mail processing and distribution centers. Arrangements can be made for the Postal Service to pick up large amounts of equipment and/or pallets by sending an e-mail to email@example.com, and including “Equipment Pickup Request” in the subject line and company name, address where the equipment is located, type of mail transport equipment and quantity, and contact information in the message.
There also is a mail transport equipment recovery hotline — (866) 330-3404 — that can be used to report the misuse of equipment, such as hoarding or recycling.
As information, the following message is printed clearly on all U.S. Postal Service equipment:
WARNING: Maximum penalty for theft or misuse of postal property, $1,000 fine and 3 year’s imprisonment (Title 18 USC 1707).” Chapter 58 of the Postal Operations Manual (POM) and Title 18 Section 1707 of the Federal Criminal Code contain the policy and laws regulating use of all mail transport equipment.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.