Post Offices Get Green


A better way to deal with that junk mail...

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Nineteen Utah Post Offices have been selected to take part in phase two of a national Post Office Lobby Mail Recycling Program, joining more than 5,900 participating Post Offices nationwide. 

 

“Read, Respond, Recycle” is the banner under which the Postal Service will reach out to postal customers with a convenient, environmentally responsible alternative to bringing home or discarding their mail.

 

The following Utah Post Offices are participating in the Read, Respond, and Recycle Program, including

12 in Salt Lake: Main Post Office, Cottonwood, Downtown, Foothill, Holladay, Kearns, Millcreek, Murray, Northwest, South Salt Lake, Sugarhouse, and West Valley. Other participating Post Offices are: American Fork, Park City Main, Park City Old Town, Snyderville, Kaysville. Provo Main, and Provo East Bay. The program is expected to expand nationally in the future.

 

Recycling bins are being placed in participating Post Office lobbies. All bins are locked with a key and the opening is slim – about the width of a news magazine. Post Office Box customers are encouraged to open their mail (read), take whatever action is necessary (respond) and simply place the rest of their mail into the bin (recycle). The program builds on the success of similar efforts that have been in place in the Northeast for more than 10 years, and does not effect postal operations or costs.

 

“The message today is simple - mail is recyclable,” said USPS Salt Lake Acting District Manager Charley Wright. “We are committed to helping consumers ‘go green’ through a comprehensive approach to mail production, delivery and recycling that helps create a sustainable future for generations to come.”

 

Mailers have responded favorably to the program as well. Highlights for Children magazine announced it would use the “Read, Respond, Recycle” phrase on 6 million publications it will mail this year to help encourage young readers to recycle. Nationally, more than 35 percent of mail is recycled.

 

In 2008, more than $12 million in revenue was generated by selling recyclables as raw materials, diverting tons of wastepaper, cardboard, cans, plastics and other materials from landfills. Each year, the Postal Service purchases more than $200 million in products containing recycled content. Many of the containers that hold and move mail in the system are made from recycled materials, as are stamped envelopes, postcards, stamp booklet covers – even the adhesive used in postage stamps is biodegradable. The Postal Service is the only shipping company in the country to earn Cradle to Cradle™ certification for all Priority Mail and Express Mail packages and envelopes based on the environmental attributes of the materials used in the packaging.

 

A complete list of participating Post Offices can be found at Earth911.com, using the word “mail” in the search engine. The list is sorted by ZIP Code. More information on green initiatives and consumer products can be found at usps.com/green.

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An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 149 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes, six days a week. It has 34,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.