Central Ohio mailers support recycling awareness

The U.S. Postal Service and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) have initiated two pilot programs that will help raise awareness of recycling disposed mail and reducing landfill waste.

Both programs will be identified under the banner of, “Read, Respond, and Recycle,” said Joshua D. Colin, the postal service’s Columbus district manager.

In the first pilot initiative announced, SWACO and the postal service joined a number of major central Ohio mailers to educate consumers that mail is recyclable.

The effort will use the 3Rs - “Read, Respond, and Recycle” - in a number of approaches to remind consumers to recycle mail once they are ready to dispose of it. The message will be carried in public service announcements, on websites and on outgoing mail pieces.

“SWACO is excited to partner with the U.S. Postal Service on ‘Read, Respond and Recycle’,” said Mills. “We hope this project will serve as a strong reminder to residents and businesses that much of what we throw away is recyclable. If you shred your mail after reading, we still accept that for recycling as well. Just put the shredded material in a bag to keep it from blowing around. Most of what comes to SWACO’s Franklin County Landfill can be recycled. As a matter of fact, 43 percent of what is delivered to the landfill is paper or cardboard. That’s about 375,000 tons annually! A lot of it is discarded mail. We believe the efforts by the Post Office and these direct mail customers will help us deliver the message that most mail can be recycled.”

According to the EPA, advertising mail makes up 2.4 percent of municipal solid waste, while more than 35 percent of this mail is now recycled. Mills said that 43 percent of what is delivered to the Franklin County Landfill is paper or cardboard that is recyclable.

Adam Trabitz, director of sales and marketing for Custom House Publishers, a Worthington-based company specializing in direct marketing strategies, said his company has already begun phasing in the recycling message onto an expected seven million customized newspapers in the coming year. “It is a small but effective way each of us can help,” he said.

Another early supporter, Columbus-based Highlights for Children, anticipates the slogan appearing on six million of its catalogs this year, while Cheryl and Co., the Central Ohio company known for its cookies, said it will print the logo and tagline on its outgoing mail to customers “to help reiterate the importance of recycling.” The company mails millions of catalogs each year. The law firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP plans to use the recycling logo on outgoing First-Class mailings, while Columbus-based Ohio Appliance Service Center, and its subsidiary, will place the logo on outgoing Priority mail and parcels.

In a second initiative announced in Columbus, locked and secure recycling containers will be placed in 23 Post Office lobbies in Columbus, Dublin, Hilliard and Westerville for use by post office box customers who wish to recycle.

Many customers who open mail and conduct business in the lobbies will now have the option of recycling discarded paper rather than sending it to landfills. Central Ohio Post Offices are the first in the nation to receive the containers.