USPS Sustainability Efforts Recognized by EPA’s Wastewise Program
The Postal Service® cares about its customers. But did you know USPS® cares about the environment, too?
Postal facilities across the country are working to reduce the agency’s environmental impact through recycling programs and other sustainability initiatives.
Waste reduction efforts in two USPS geographic areas recently earned the Postal Service recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Postal Service’s Northeast Area and Great Lakes Area received EPA WasteWise Awards due to the areas’ increase in volume of recycled materials from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2017.
WasteWise is an EPA partnership with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and corporations, to promote waste reduction and sustainable management practices.
These partners must demonstrate how they reduce waste, practice environmental stewardship and incorporate sustainable materials management into their waste-handling processes.
USPS Sustainability in 2017
In fiscal year 2017, the Postal Service’s efforts to increase recycling were impressive.
In Northeast Area, which covers Albany, Caribbean, Connecticut Valley, Greater Boston, Long Island, New York, Northern New England, Northern New Jersey, Triboro and Westchester Districts, cardboard recycling volumes increased 24 percent and paper recycling volumes increased 20.8 percent. Plastic recycling volumes increased 36.5 percent.
In Great Lakes Area, which covers Central Illinois, Chicago, Detroit, Gateway, Greater Indiana, Greater Michigan and Lakeland Districts, cardboard recycling volumes increased 13.5 percent and paper recycling volumes increased 17.6 percent. Plastic recycling volumes increased 7 percent.
Chicago Network Distribution Center custodian, Ken Bell, processes cardboard boxes.
The EPA’s Previous Recognition of USPS
In 2016, two USPS employees received the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge Sustainability Award for their work developing recycling kits and helping reduce storm water pollution.
By properly identifying recyclable material and diverting it from landfills, both Northeast and Great Lakes Areas saved USPS thousands of dollars last year and generated revenue from recyclables. Great Lakes has also reduced annual trash costs by $1.6 million each year since fiscal year 2013.
Postal facilities will continue to support the Postal Service’s National Recycling Operation, which aims to expand postal recycling efforts to reduce waste and generate revenue.