If you do home newspaper deliveries (HNDs) then you won't need me to add anything to this already weighty subject. But Lynn Thurston, who runs Gemco News with her husband Andy in Braintree, Essex, couldn't resist a rant following a particularly 'heavy' weekend.
Lynn writes: "The papers on Saturday were a ridiculous weight and the rubbish they held was unbelievable."
Erm, Lynn, I think they're called loose inserts, entertainment guides and supplements.
She continues: "The children are only allowed to carry 10kg at a time. This amounts to six Telegraphs on a Saturday. By law they're allowed 35 houses. At the moment we're having to run out about 10 papers three times each to each child, costing us extra time and therefore money. We get paid 2p per insert. Do we have to deliver the inserts?"
Yes, I'm afraid you do, if for no other reason than some of the people receiving them might actually want them and would complain if they were missing.
However, Lynn makes a further good point about the 'green aspect' if inserts are just turfed into recycle. Nobody wants all the inserts (we 'fillet' our papers to remove the excess baggage), but a high majority are actually bought and paid-for ads which no publisher is going to turn down, since they're competing in a dog-eat-dog business.
I was interested to see Colin Finch, president of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, featured in the October 5 issue of this magazine. He said that HND wasn't just kids on bikes offering a community service, but also adults with vans charging appropriate carriage fees to customers.
I also see from the newsagent discussion forums on the website www.connect2u.co.uk that some newsagents are managing to make HND profitable.
I would be happy to feature anyone's formula here that proves the point.

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