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Every Wednesday morning there is a small newspaper delivered to every household. Sometimes the day shifts, but it's always once per week. It's the Durham News which is published by the Raleigh News & Observer. It's free. You can't say no to it. It arrives whether you like it or not.

First problem I have with this is the environment. Here we have someone producing paper that no one has requested. It comes in a little plastic bag. So, all these small newspapers in plastics bags laying at curb. What happens when it rains? They all float along the curb right into the storm drain! That's hundreds or thousands of plastic bags with newspapers clogging up our streams and storm drains across the city.

Second, it's a security issue for me. When I'm away I stop my mail so that it's harder for people to tell if I'm home or not. The newspaper? I can't stop it. I haven't been able to reach anyone there to complain about it. So, they just remain there and/or pile up until a neighbor does it for me. That throws up a red flag for someone looking to break into our homes.

I'm not sure how to raise awareness of this practice, but I'll start here on my blog. I would call WRAL-TV, but they're owned by the same media giant. Guess I could call their competition.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
I think both of your reasons are valid and warranted. The security issue is the reason most likely to get them to stop, if enough people are concerned. Local chapters of large environmental groups might be interested in participating, and the city might be interested if they are having to spend money to clean up the papers and bags. I'd bet that the news company distributes these so that they can claim a readership of X number of people.

Do it, Joe. Take on the man!
Oct. 14th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Knowing Durham and how they care for the environment, a report of how newspapers in plastic bags going into storm drains might be enough to cause some action. I'm just trying to find the right method to bring attention to it.
Oct. 14th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
I have the same beef with the local paper that gets thrown into my driveway every week too for exactly the same reasons.

I contacted the service and asked them not to throw them into my yard. They told me that the drivers are not given a list of who to give them to (or not give them to), so there was no mechanism for preventing it. When I brought up the issue of my home security, the lady on the phone said I could ask a neighbor to pick them up for me.

I've actually considered reporting the service to the police for littering, tossing something into my yard I didn't ask for and consider garbage. I'm sure it wouldn't work, but I thought it might be a novel approach.
Oct. 14th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
With our luck there's probably some law that allows this practice written back in the 1800's so that it's not considered littering. Regardless, anyone should be given the chance to opt-out.
Oct. 14th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Dallas Morning News does the same thing here and it annoys everyone. Anymore, if I want my news, I get it online. The content in print media sucks anymore anyway.

Call the competition...

Oct. 14th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Get all your neighbors to sign a petition. Don't settle for anything less than the signatures of all the residents in the surrounding 10 square block area. Then, post it to bad_service.
Oct. 14th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
I've been tempted to collect all of the newspapers and dump them on their doorstep. Hey, I'm just delivering the paper. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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