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August 2007

Postage rate increase impacts publishers

In last month’s issue of American Recycler, we announced that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) fee to mail American Recycler to subscribers had increased an unprecedented 42 percent.

In June, American Recycler asked readers to help offset a portion of this unexpected expense. “We want to thank all of those who responded by placing renewals for one and two-year subscriptions,” stated Esther Fournier, publisher. “We value the positive feedback we frequently receive from our subscribers, and this tangible support from so many is also greatly appreciated.”

As reported in the June issue of American Recycler, the postal rate increase was the result of an assignment for the Postal Regulatory Committee (PRC) to increase revenues. A 758-page plan, based on a proposal from publisher Time Warner, was adopted by the USPS after an 8-day public comment period last March. The plan’s subsequent postal rate increase carried the heaviest financial burden for small, “flat-mailer” publications like American Recycler. Though the public comment period has passed, a letter from several small publishers sent to the USPS Board of Governors in April said, “These new rates will have grave consequences for disseminating the very type of information our founding fathers strove to protect and foster when they first established the public postal service.” (Z Magazine, May 30, 2007).