Getting The Previous Owner’s Mail

I’ve been in my house a little over nine months and during that time I have been getting the previous owners’ mail intermingled with mine. When I first bought the house I was very diligent about writing “MOVED” on the envelopes and putting them back in the mailbox so the letter carrier could pick them up the next day, hopefully to get them to their final destination.

After a month or so the mail for the previous owners more or less stopped aside from some junk mail that was addressed to “Current Resident or…” which I just tossed, since I was the current resident, so it was technically addressed to me, but now, all of a sudden I’ve started their mail again. Today it was a per capita tax bill. (I know that because it looked identical to the bill I received today.)

Does writing “MOVED” or “NOT AT THIS ADDRESS” on the envelope and putting it back in the mailbox actually do anything? I know that a change of address filing is only good for a year and apparently less time than that for certain types of mail, but it seems like some of the stuff I’ve been getting is tied to annual cycles and they just didn’t notify their banks, or the city, etc. that they no longer live here. I know that if my mail was going to the wrong place, (and as far as I know it hasn’t, because my previous address is my parents’ house,) I’d want to know about it, but this is kind of a pain in the butt. I don’t know where they moved, nor do I care, but I’d really like to stop getting their mail.

What would you do?


Bethlehem Recycles

When I made the decision to move to Bethlehem last year the one thing I wasn’t looking forward to was the regression in trash collection services compared to Allentown. In Allentown there’s city-wide garbage collection twice per week and recycling collection one per week. Bethlehem, on the other hand, has private garbage collection.

That means that not only do you have to seek out a trash hauler, but in most cases they only collect once per week and the city only collects recycling once every two weeks. As a single guy I can make this work, but I have no idea how families manage.

That said, even though the city does collect recycling once per week, they do not collect yard waste, unlike in Allentown where it’s picked up on your recycling night. Neither city collects grass trimmings, but not having a way to get rid of other yard waste was a problem. This past weekend I decided to remove two trees and a bush along with removing about six feet from the tops of two other bushes on my property. Needless to say, I had a lot of trimmings to get rid of. Thankfully there was an option, even if it did mean I had to enlist my parents’ SUV to help haul things away.

Bethlehem has a yard waste/composting center on Schoenersville Rd that’s open on the weekends and is free for city residents to drop off most yard waste (sorry anal lawn mower types, they don’t accept grass). It’s only a few miles from my house and while you need to be a resident of Bethlehem to drop off waste, mulch is free to anyone (per their website) and after looking at it, it’s pretty decent quality.

So, if you live in Bethlehem, stop trying to hide your trimmings in with your trash and drop them off at the city site. It’s free and, at least when I went, there was no waiting.