My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Belated Earth Day Special: The Census Bureau Waste Continues (with hard evidence attached)

Last week, I planned to publish this piece, but the data from a New York area census office didn’t come in until yesterday…Check it out:

Here’s the hard evidence:



It seems like the Census didn’t know April 22nd was Earth Day. In honor of it the printers ran non stop from morning to midnight in 494 offices across the nation printing out all the address listing pages and assignment preparation for Non Response Followup.

Cost to print NRFU Address Listing Pages of every housing unit in the United States single sided and then ship it to the National Processing Center Fed Ex Priority Overnight

Cost to print out hundreds upon thousands of maps single sided only to not even be looked at

Cost to print all the training materials on high quality printer quality paper

Cost to print all the glossy recruiting brochures, partnership posters only for them to be unopened and thrown out by the palette like this everyday (see pictures below)

–  Some food for thought. These boxes are filled with 500 brochures a piece and has been happening everyday for months and in all 494 offices everyday –

Cost to print all the Be Counted Questionnaires which were all taken back from the Be Counted and Questionnaire Assistance Centers to be thrown away even though New York City wanted to extend the program by 30 days and some to count the estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants.(see attached disposal list)

Cost to print all the GQV Questionnaires which we still have two palettes left. (see attached disposal list) And that is just one of the forms on the attached list to throw out…Here we go:



Photos of materials on their way to be destroyed/recycled:

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8 Responses to “Belated Earth Day Special: The Census Bureau Waste Continues (with hard evidence attached)”

  1. LCO-AM Says:

    I believe that the LCO in our area threw out/”recycled” approximately 10,000 unused BAC questionnaires.

    Seemed to me that it would not of been hard for anyone to of grabbed a few cases and had a Chicago style party to fill ‘em out and send ‘em in – I’m sure there are controls in place to catch such a thing.

    And the amount of other materials taken in to be “recycled” was several pick up loads full, far more than just a couple pallets.

    Probably normal waste for the government.

  2. Senseless Says:

    A few months back our LCO got in an entire shipment that was all marked destroy. So we didn’t just have the waste of all the manuals and forms to be destroyed but also the time for someone to do it and the shipping costs as well.

  3. Realist Says:

    Say, Stephen, what ought the Federal gov’t do with recruitment flyers once the recruitment period is over? Isn’t it a good thing when you are so well recruited that you don’t even need to promote anymore?

  4. Paul Melvin Says:

    The Recruiting Assistant Promo kits will have either 1000 brochures, or 500 brochures (the blue ones you see in the snap were the most popular for us) and ditto business cards (The “Census Jobs” ones), in one carton. One kit comprises 4 cartons. Of about 20 kits, half of these were escorted to the dumpster, cut open, and dumped for recycling. The directive from Mr. M reads to be aware that peak recruiting isn’t over, and each office is responsible for maintaining an adequate supply for “unforeseen circumstances”.

    We also face the vagaries of the quality of hires we’ll get- some don’t even bother to show up, or have school, or don’t want to lose unemployment…

    And an office full of managers who just walk out, and others who pummel each other, I just heard…

    It may not be that the gov’t shouldn’t throw these out (to address the rhetorical question above, which is entirely valid- of course they have to go somewhere)- I think the concurrence is that the sheer numbers of them show an agency out of touch with planning ahead. Don’t we run around doing the ACS every year- are we THAT out of touch with how many people live here? Throw out AND keep handy for any event?

    Uh… roger- will do both. I wouldn’t want management’s job. Again, it’s planning based upon the unknown, where we should have a better grip overall.

  5. Embarressed Says:

    We were required set up a one time QAC site at a special event that Partnership was attending. It was in a Hard to Count area. However the meeting was attended by active/concerned citizens. The kind that vote, pay their bills on time and return their forms. Our reps handed out 4 census forms all evening. We figure it cost the Senseless about $38 per form that night. Would have been cheeper to enumerate them. Oh, wait. Rumor is that if anyone mailed in a form from a QAC/BC it will be followed up by Quality Assurance. So how much would that drive the per form cost up?

    We too are “recycling” 2 pallets of supplies for QAC. As an environmentalist, it makes me sick. Hey, wait we can donate them to the SBE’s that we spent millions on trying to enumerate and they can use them as place mats.

  6. Senseless Says:

    It isn’t just paper waste. One LCO had to destroy 1,100 of the black census tote bags after Address Canvassing only to receive thousands more for the next phase.

  7. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Yes, I have heard that tons of other promotional materials — hats, mugs, pens — you name it, have also been destroyed.

  8. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Denver Colorado sees THOUSANDS of dollars worth of 2010 Census swag unused — including canvas bags Says:

    [...] suspicions about waste and leftover swag enabling scammers to do their jobs more easily is proven true yet again. Thanks [...]