Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told a Republican-led Senate committee that since his arrival, the Postal Service has removed 700 collection boxes, of "which I had no idea that that was a process."
When he found out this was happening, DeJoy told lawmakers he and the leadership team discussed it and decided to halt the removals.
"When I found out about it, we socialized with the leadership team and looked at what the excitement it was creating so I decided to stop it and we’ll pick it up after the election. But this a normal process that has been around for 50 years," DeJoy said.
DeJoy said there are over 140,000 collection boxes in the US, and over the last 10 years, about 35,000 of them have been removed. He said the decision to remove boxes is a "data-driven method" where USPS looks at utilization of the post boxes, where they place new post boxes and where communities are growing.
With regards to sorting machines, DeJoy said USPS evaluates its machine capacity before deciding to move them.
"The mail volume, you know, is dropping very rapidly and especially during the Covid crisis. And package volume is growing, and when I spoke with the team — when this too became —got a lot of air play, we really are moving these machines out to make room to process packages. We still have hundreds of these machines everywhere and still not any kind of drain on the capacity, DeJoy said.
"I repeat, both the collection boxes and this machine closedown I was — I was made aware when everybody else was made aware," the postmaster general said.