Cover Story

Go Green — Celebrate Earth Day by Recycling

Earth Day 2016 is a good time to re-emphasize our corporate commitment to waste reduction and recycling. In this issue of the Postal Bulletin, we feature strategies that will help you to reduce landfill disposal costs by diverting trash to recycling. Nearly everything we find in our trash containers can be recycled. And while reducing landfill waste helps to protect the environment, it is also good for business. Recycling generates revenue while at the same time reducing landfill disposal costs.

The Postal Service partners with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Federal Green Challenge and WasteWise programs to reduce all types of waste, including energy, water, fuel, electronics, consumables purchasing, and trash. Most of our trash is mixed paper — a commodity that is easily recycled and turned into a business opportunity.

This issue of the Postal Bulletin provides information about the ongoing National Recycling Operation (NRO). Under NRO, mixed paper is backhauled on existing transportation from postal facilities to plants and hubs where it is consolidated for sale to recyclers. As more mixed paper is diverted to recycling, the volume of trash decreases. We review the importance of facilities obtaining “best value” trash and recycling service contracts from Supply Management. We also urge you to become familiar with the instructions for using the correct accounting codes for documenting costs and revenues related to trash disposal and recycling, so the benefits from the operation can be accurately tracked and managed.

Earth Day may happen once a year, but our sustainability practices need to be an integral part of our working lives. We invite you to participate in a facility Lean Green Team, identify local opportunities to conserve resources, and celebrate Earth Day 2016 by recycling!

Thomas G. Day
Chief Sustainability Officer
March 31, 2016

USPS National Recycling Operation: Putting Our Stamp on a Greener Tomorrow

The Postmaster General and the Executive Leadership Team approved the National Recycling Operation (NRO) in October 2013. The goal of the National Recycling Operation is to increase recycling revenue and reduce trash disposal costs within the Postal Service™.

Eliminating waste is a key economic driver for all organizations. Given the nature of our business, the majority of waste that the Postal Service generates can be recycled. This includes mixed paper from undeliverable mail that is generated at almost every delivery office. Our objective is to turn this waste into a business opportunity. Recycling is also now required by Federal Executive Order and is increasingly the law in many places. The communities we serve also have an expectation that the Postal Service will do its part and recycle. It enhances our corporate image and our bottom line. Recycling is no longer an optional, but an integral part of our business.

The USPS National Recycling Operation is a national business initiative designed to drive waste and costs out of our operations, generate revenue, and provide better stewardship of our environment. The initiative builds on existing best practices that many Post Offices™ are already performing. The process, known as “backhaul recycling,” is simple. Participating Post Offices transport recyclables to a nearby servicing hub using mail transport equipment (MTE) and our existing logistics network. This results in the generation of less trash, which reduces local disposal costs.

Consolidating the recyclable material at servicing hubs generates tons of recyclable material, achieving economies of scale that maximize revenue-generating opportunities. The effort utilizes empty MTE that is being returned to servicing hubs (usually mail processing and distribution centers) via existing transportation service runs. No additional MTE or transportation is required. This “reverse logistics” opportunity uniquely leverages our existing postal network infrastructure as an inherent business opportunity in a way few other government or private entities can.

Under the National Recycling Operation, designated hub facilities are receiving:

n Recycling dumper and compactor equipment;

n Standardized processes to implement recycling operations;

n Renegotiated recycling and trash contracts to maximize value for the Postal Service; and

n Training and communications support tools.

The USPS® Office of Sustainability has been tasked to oversee deployment of the National Recycling Operation in each district with key organizational stakeholders including Operations, Delivery, Maintenance, Facilities, and Supply Management. District leadership will communicate the effort to affected offices as the initiative is rolled out. The HQ Supply Management Facility Category Management Center plays a key role in soliciting and renegotiating recycling and trash disposal contracts to obtain maximum value.

Learn more at: http:⁄⁄⁄sustainability⁄national-recycling-operation.htm.

USPS National Recycling Operation: How USPS Facility Services Category Management Center (CMC) can Maximize Value and Reduce Cost

The goal of the National Recycling Operation (NRO) for the Postal Service™ is to increase recycling and reduce trash disposal costs. Key to this effort is obtaining contracts that provide “best value” for our recycling and trash services. By consolidating and making larger quantities of recyclable material available at fewer locations, the Postal Service enhances the value of our materials in the recycling market. Centralized recycling hubs also reduce costs by eliminating small volume pick-ups and associated transportation fees at Post Offices.

The Supply Management Facility Services Category Management Center (CMC) in Windsor, CT, oversees recycling and trash contracting services. They manage a portfolio of over 200 trash contracts and over 80 recycling contracts that encompass over 4,000 postal sites. Competitive solicitations for recycling services allow the Postal Service to leverage its size and obtain “best value” from suppliers. Skillfully negotiated contracts also protect the Postal Service from commodity market fluctuations and complex vendor fees and surcharges that are not contractually authorized. Learn more at: http:⁄⁄⁄supplymanagement⁄fscmc-trash-recycling.htm.

Historically, controlling and managing waste disposal and service costs has been a challenge for postal managers. These services were typically arrived at through local agreements without the requisite subject matter expertise and understanding of market rates and service options. The CMC team now assists in ensuring “best value” for these services. Services that exceed $2,500 annually must be reviewed with a contracting officer to ensure compliance with federal law and postal policies. The CMC works closely with facility managers and contracting officer representatives (CORs) to ensure they are in compliance with the Service Contract Act, and other statutes, regulations, and postal policies.

As part of the National Recycling Operation deployment, the Office of Sustainability works with district management to baseline existing Post Office™ recycling and trash services to determine trash disposal cost savings opportunities. Based on this information and field visits to individual offices, recommendations are made to facility managers and the contracting officer’s representative to reduce service or to modify existing contract services. The contracting officer’s representative (COR) acts as a liaison between the contracting officer and the service vendors on all routine matters. This typically includes reducing the pick-up frequency and⁄or trash container size, based on reduced volumes. In addition, any paid recycling services are eliminated as the hub facility backhaul recycling operations are initiated. The Postal Service must no longer pay to dispose of trash in containers that are only partially full.

USPS National Recycling Operation: Accurately Accounting for Trash and Recycling Services

Proper accounting allows the USPS® to better monitor and manage its trash and recycling costs. The National Recycling Operation (NRO) is working with Finance to update accounting codes to track these services and communicate their proper use to field offices. Postal facilities that receive revenue from recyclables, such as mixed paper, cardboard, and plastic, are now directed to use the following account numbers. It is important to use the entire account number to avoid having funds placed in the wrong budget line.

There are two revenue account indicator codes for recycling revenue:

n Mixed paper, cardboard, and plastics
(Acct#: 44036.149).

n Scrap metal (Acct#: 44036.156).

There are also two codes for service costs:

n Garbage and trash disposal service costs
(Acct#: 54153).

n Recycling service costs (Acct#: 56607).

It is critical to ensure that the proper account codes for garbage and trash disposal costs and recycling service costs are used. Note: Previously water and sewer costs were included within the garbage and trash disposal service account code. A separate account code has now been established for water and sewer costs (Acct#: 54152). When you enter your financial transactions, do not include water and sewer costs within the garbage and trash service account cost code.

For a detailed description of what is included in each of these codes see below:

n Mixed Paper, Cardboard, and Plastic Recycling Revenue, Acct#: 44036.149. This account is used to record revenue from the sale of recyclables including mixed paper recyclables (i.e. discarded office paper, undeliverable standard mail, no obvious value mail, undeliverable bulk business mail, discarded lobby mail and waste, dead mail, and flats). Also included is cardboard, also known as old corrugated cardboard, all types of plastics (shrink, stretch wrap, mixed plastics), cans, bottles, and mail sacks. This account number also includes the sale of recyclable material from Mail Transport Equipment or Repair Centers (MTEC) and Mail Recovery Centers. Do not use this account code for scrap metal sales.

n Recycling Service Costs, Acct#: 56607. This account is used to record the costs of recycling services such as equipment rental and lease costs (i.e. receiver box spotted, trailer, open top roll off, compactor, card tipper, balers, container and Gaylord boxes) and recyclable material transportation⁄hauling⁄loading and material costs. Do not use this account for garbage and trash disposal service costs (refer to Acct#: 54153).

n Scrap Metal (all types) Recycling Revenue, Acct#: 44036.156. This account is used to record revenue from the sale of scrap metal of all types as well as non-capital equipment that is deemed unserviceable.

n Garbage and Trash Disposal Service Costs, Acct#: 54153. This account is used to record the costs of municipal solid waste (i.e. garbage and trash) removal. Do not use this account for sewer charges (refer to Acct#: 54152) or any non-trash related disposal service such as recycling services, regulated hazardous or universal waste disposal, or trash disposal services included with building lease, water bill tax stipends, or common area costs (CAM).

USPS Account Number Control Master maintains all General Ledger Accounts ⁄ Subaccounts at: https:⁄⁄⁄ANCM⁄servlet⁄com.usps.ancm.servlets.HomeServlet.

USPS Presents Ingrid Bergman Forever Stamp for Legends of Hollywood Series. On Sale Nationwide: August 20, 2015.