and other waste the U.S. Postal Service recycled in 2009, representing
a decrease in its greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 1.67
million barrels of oil.
An integral part of that undertaking is the Post Office Box Lobby
Recycling program which is expanding to include an additional 2,435
Post Offices, including those in a number of U.S. national parks. That
brings the total number of participating sites to more than 8,064, an
increase of 150 percent from 2005, when the Post Office Lobby
recycling effort started. This program is based on the success of
similar mail recycling programs in the northeastern part of the United
States, which began more than 10 years ago.
Postal customers are being encouraged to "read, respond, recycle"
their P.O. Box mail in Post Office lobbies as a convenient and
environmentally responsible alternative to taking it home to discard.
"Lobby recycling helps divert paper waste from landfills, eliminating
greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste disposal," said Deborah
Giannoni-Jackson, vice president, Employee Resource Management. "In
2009, the Postal Service sold raw materials from recyclables,
diverting them from landfills, making us greener and producing a
positive impact on our bottom line."
Secure recycling bins in Post Office lobbies are locked and the
opening is slim –– about the width of a magazine, so the mail, and
customer privacy, are ensured. P.O. Box customers are encouraged to
open their mail (read), take whatever action is necessary (respond)
and place the rest of it in the bin (recycle). A complete list of
participating "Read, Respond, Recycle" Post Offices can be found at
usps.com/green on the recycle page by clicking on Earth911.com. Type
the word "mail" in the search engine for a list by ZIP Code.
"This Post Office Box recycling program is part of a comprehensive
approach to mail production, delivery and recycling that helps create
a sustainable future for generations to come," said Sam Pulcrano, vice
president, Sustainability. "It makes it even easier for Post Office
Box customers to go green by recycling their discarded P.O. Box mail
right at the Post Office."
Pulcrano added, another way customers can go green is with 100 percent
recyclable Postal Service packaging supplies. The Postal Service is
the only mailing and shipping company to earn Cradle to Cradle™
certification for the environmentally friendly design and health
standards of Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies, and Ready Post
envelopes, tape and labels. Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies
are free to the customer and can be delivered at no charge. They can
be ordered from the Post Office that's always open, 24 hours a day,
atusps.com/green. Visit usps.com/green for the latest information
about all the Postal Service's green initiatives, tools and products.
P.O. Box Lobby Recycling is one more way the Postal Service is
demonstrating its commitment to environmental stewardship, Pulcrano
said. The Postal Service has won more than 75 environmental awards,
including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental
Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action
Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, and the Postal
Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year, 2009.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and
relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is
the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation,
150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal
Service receives no tax dollars. With 36,000 retail locations and the
most frequently visited website in the federal government, the Postal
Service relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay
for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five
consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by
the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more
than $68 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail. If it were
a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 26th in
the 2008 Fortune 500.