U.S. Postal Service brings nationwide
paper recycling to post office lobbies
The United States Postal Service
will make it easier for Post Office
box customers across the country
to recycle their mail.
“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
The Postal Service recycles more
than one million tons of paper, plastic
and other materials.
The Post Office Box Lobby Recycling
program launched will build on the
success of similar programs that
have been ongoing in the northeast
part of the United States for more
than 10 years.
The PO Box Lobby Recycling program
places secure recycling bins in Post
Office lobbies. All bins are locked
with a key and the opening is slim
— about the width of a news magazine.
PO Box customers are encouraged to
remove and open their mail (read),
take whatever action is necessary
(respond) and simply place the rest
of their mail into the bin (recycle).
This program has been thoroughly
tested and presents no risk to mail
security or customer privacy and
does not affect postal operations
or costs, according to postmaster
general John Potter.
“The message today is simple. Mail
is recyclable,” Potter said. “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
The Chicago launch officially opened
the first of three phases of PO Box
Lobby Recycling, adding 279 new sites
to the more than 3,800 existing sites.
The program will expand nationally
in the future.
Nationally, more than 35 percent
of mail is recycled now.
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.
And 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