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Destroy, don’t donate

Follow policy for old collection boxes

Blue collection box on sidewalk
Under Postal Service policy, old collection boxes that can’t be refurbished must be destroyed, not donated.

The Postal Service is reminding employees that collection boxes should not be donated to outside organizations.

Nonprofit groups and other outside organizations often request the donation of old collection boxes for use in a variety of ways, such as the collection of gifts during the holidays, or as a receptacle for the gathering of worn or torn American flags. The boxes are often repainted and relabeled with the name or logo of the organization that is facilitating the collection.

This is a violation of USPS policy.

Handbook AS-701, Asset Management, explains that donations of collection boxes are prohibited, including donations to federal or state agencies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Under postal policy, old collection boxes that cannot be refurbished must be destroyed, not donated.

Employees must seek permission from Asset Management before destroying a serviceable collection box. If a collection box is unserviceable, employees should dispose of the box using PS Form 969, Material Recycling and Disposal.

If the request is approved, the box must be eliminated through scrapping, followed by metal recycling.

This is the only authorized method for disposing of collection boxes.

Boxes that are identified as a candidate for refurbishment per Maintenance Management Order (MMO) Number MMO-020-17 must be returned following the MMO guidelines.

Because collection boxes are an important symbol of the Postal Service, honoring this policy will help the organization protect its brand. The policy also aims to reduce potential service problems for customers, who could inadvertently drop mail into a box that is no longer used for collection.

Employees who have questions or who want to request approval to destroy an old collection box should send an email to

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