In March of this year the Postal Service launched a Free Recycling Through the Mail program. Right now the service only exists in 1,500 Post Offices in 10 areas across the country. Three of the areas include: Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego.
What are the USPS goals of this new recycling program? To provide a free green recycling services to its customers nationwide. Customers will have the ability to recycle small electronics (PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players) and cartridges (inkjet, laser) by mailing them free of charge. In other words there is no need to pay for postage or purchase envelopes in order to participate in this program.
Free Mail Back envelopes can be found on displays in the 1,500 Post Office lobbies that currently provide this service. To find out the nearest participating USPS office to you, contact: Joanne Veto. Joanne Veto's email and other contact information can be found in the USPS News Release letter.
Wondering who pays for the postage? Tax payers? Guess again. Clover Technologies Group pays for the postage. Clover Technologies Group is a nationally recognized company, with a "zero waste to landfill" policy. The company recycles, refurbishes and remarkets inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics like the ones mentioned above. Whatever cannot be recycled or sold again is stripped for parts. The parts are then used to make, fix or make new electronics and cartridges.
This isn't the first time the post office has taken greener steps for its customers and the environment. It may come as a shock to some people that the Post Service has taken any green steps at all, considering all the junk mail delivered daily into our mailboxes, but The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has awarded the Postal Service eight WasteWise Partner of the Year awards. This is a high honor. The postal service is also the only shipping and mailing company in the nation to receive Cradle to CradleSM Certification from MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry). In addition, each year, the Postal Service recycles 1 million tons of paper, plastic and other materials.
If the Mail Back program is successful this fall there is plan for expansion nationwide. So, if you have the program where you live, use it!
May we all one day have a "zero waste to landfill" policy of our own.
Happy recycling everyone!