PostNL: Mail carriers should be eyes & ears for neighbourhood problems

PostNL wants mail carriers to be the "eyes and ears" of the neighborhoods they work in. The idea is that while they are delivering letters, they also keep an eye out for problems - such as overfull rubbish bins or damaged traffic signs - and report it to the municipality.

"Deliverers walk the streets on a daily basis and therefore know their neighborhood better than anyone. Municipalities can take advantage of it", Hanne Kluck of PostNL said to newspaper AD. "The number of sent mail has been declining for years, so we are looking into whether our mail carriers can perform other duties in addition to delivering post."

A trial run on this initiative is currently running in Schiedam. While about their delivering duties, mail carriers take photos of overflowing bins, skew pickets, broken road signs etc. and report it to the municipality via an app on their smartphones. The municipality can then take immediate action. Bert Vos, manager of the city's public space is very enthusiastic about this initiative, calling the postal workers the "eyes and ears on the street".

The Schiedam trial is running until mid-December and PostNL plans to expand the trial to other areas next year.