LETTER: Post office starts recycling program

Monday, March 16, 2009 | 2:57 p.m. CDT; updated 10:33 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The "Three Rs" take on a more modern meaning with a new program that allows PO box customers in Columbia to recycle their mail.

The Post Office 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. It is available in 5,900 post offices across the country, including St. Louis, Columbia and Jefferson City.

Mail is recyclable. In fact, nationally, more than 35 percent of mail is recycled each year, providing an important source of paper and post-consumer paper products.

The U.S. Postal Service has a long and proud environmental record and has recycled millions of tons of paper, plastic and other materials during the past 15 years. Through the use of alternative fuel vehicles and recycling programs, the USPS has continued to help create a sustainable future for generations to come.

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 our 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.

Remember: It's only "junk" if it ends up in a landfill.


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