Earth Day 2015 is a good time to re-emphasize our corporate-wide commitment to the reduction of electronic waste (eWaste) and refresh our national campaign to increase awareness of eWaste recycling among Postal Service™ employees and federal agencies. In this issue of the Postal Bulletin, we feature a wide range of articles and tips on recycling eWaste in the office as well as employee recycling solutions for personal electronic devices through the USPS BlueEarth® Federal Recycling Program. Many people may not realize that electronics is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, and only a small fraction of this waste is recycled. Electronics contain some of the most hazardous wastes generated in the workplace and in our homes. Electronic equipment, such as cell phones, contain a range of toxic metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which can have significant adverse effects on groundwater quality when thrown away.
In 2012, the Postal Service joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Green Challenge with the objective of recycling 50% of all our solid waste by the year 2015. Electronic waste represents 2% of the total waste stream in America and nearly that same percentage within the Postal Service. We are well into FY 2015, and if we recycle all of our electronic waste, we will meet our Federal Green Challenge goal and divert these wastes from landfills.
This issue of the Postal Bulletin provides instructions on taking advantage of the Topeka MDC electronic recycling program and promotes an innovative Postal Service program that allows you to safely and properly dispose of your personal electronic waste items such as cell phones and laptops through the USPS BlueEarth® Federal Recycling Program. The Federal Recycling Program generates revenue for both the Postal Service (at zero cost to Postal Service employees) and Federal customers, and we encourage you to share this information with your employees. Another recycling initiative that is being rolled out over the next few years is the National Recycling Operation, whereby our existing transportation network is used to backhaul mixed paper from postal facilities to plants and hubs where it is consolidated and sold to recyclers, adding to postal revenues and reducing landfill disposal costs.
We also urge you to become familiar with the wide range of sustainability initiatives available through our Lean Green Teams. Earth Day may happen once a year, but our sustainability practices should become part of the fabric of our working lives. Go green, and celebrate Earth Day 2015 by recycling your eWaste.
Thomas G. Day
Chief Sustainability Officer
April 2, 2015
via Cover Story.