San Francisco, Newark to test Web-based mail system Zumbox

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The cities of San Francisco and Newark, NJ, signed this month as the first municipal clients of Web-based mail delivery system Zumbox.

The two cities are using the platform, which Zumbox calls a “paperless postal system,” to save on printing, paper and postage costs and to reduce their environmental impact. Companies, organizations and municipalities can send letters, utility bills, public notices, newsletters, permits and videos via the service.

The municipalities are among the first clients announced as part of Zumbox's national rollout, though which it hopes to reach 1 million households in the US. The service is free for municipalities and state governments.

Lawrence Grodeska, Internet communications coordinator for the San Francisco Department of the Environment, said that the city will evaluate the response of its residents to the service. He added that the city will use the platform to target specific neighborhoods about recycling efforts and other programs.

“It's a natural tie-in with our paper reduction,” he said, explaining that San Francisco has some of the most stringent environmental policies in the country.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker also acknowledged the environmental advantages of the technology in a statement.

“While we acknowledge the challenges of introducing this online technology to our community, it most certainly supports our goal of becoming the greenest city in the Garden State,” he said.

Zumbox launched in February, and within weeks partnered with 22nd Century Media to deliver digital editions of its weekly local newspapers in Illinois. In June, it named direct marketing veteran Donn Rappaport its CEO.

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