The Postal Service generated more than $13 million in revenue through expanded recycling and waste prevention efforts. More than 20,000 postal facilities are now recycling and over 10,000 are participating in a backhaul program, which recycles more material and generates additional revenue. In addition, the Postal Service recycled almost 220,000 tons of materials in 2010, avoiding over 214,000 tons of carbon equivalent reductions in greenhouse gasses.

The Postal Service also expanded Post Office lobby mail recycling to include offices at 115 national parks, memorials, and historical sites. This program reduces waste disposal costs, increases recycling revenue, and helps meet customers’ environmental expectations. Currently, more than 10,000 Post Offices feature secure lobby recycling containers that carry the message “Read, Respond, Recycle Your Mail.”

The Postal Service, in partnership with businesses and governments, has made it easier for customers to dispose of unused or unwanted products that could be harmful to the environment by creating a mail-back program to ship the items to recyclers. Included are computer equipment, printer supplies, cell phones, rechargeable and alkaline batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, prescription drugs, and medical sharps.

The prescription mail-back initiative was expanded in 2010, enabling nearly 800,000 veterans in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and West Virginia to safely dispose of expired and unused prescriptions. Federally approved facilities destroy the medicine, ensuring that prescriptions do not end up in landfills or ground water.

did you know? in 2009, usps recycled 51% of the solid waste it produced, exceeding federal guidelines.