2010 Sustainability Report
Leaner | greener | faster | smarter

Our network | Mail processing and delivery

Leaner facilities, greener savings

As mail volume falls, we need fewer facilities to process fewer pieces of mail. In FY 2010, we reduced the number of mail processing and distribution centers by eight, to 260.

We also closed all but one of our airport mail centers. Surface mail can be sorted through fewer facilities, allowing us to more efficiently use ground transportation, save facility energy costs and reduce GHG emissions.The unprecedented volume decline also has affected the number of shipping containers needed to move the mail. So, we have realigned our mail transport equipment service centers. Eight of the 23 were closed, processing operations in the remaining 15 were consolidated and the transportation network was redesigned.

As a result, the number of trips using highway contractors to carry mail transport containers was reduced by 143,780 per year, a significant savings.

Reuse, reduce, recycle

USPS recycles mail transportation equipment when it can’t be used anymore. This year, we recycled many, many plastic, cardboard and metal transport containers — an environmental and financial benefit — allowing us to avoid costly landfill fees and earn recycling revenue.

Additionally, worn-out wood and chipboard pallets were recycled or repurposed into new products, including bio-fuels, composting materials and long-life building products, such as decking.

Total FY 2010 revenue from mail transport equipment recycling and repurposing was more than $1.2 million.