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Earth efforts

USPS promotes recycling, reducing waste

Postal worker recycles plastic wrap.
USPS recycled more than 4,700 tons of plastic wrap in 2021.

The Postal Service is highlighting its commitment to recycling and waste reduction to mark Earth Day on April 22.

The organization — which generates large quantities of recyclables, including paper, cardboard, plastics and other material — saved more than $14 million in landfill disposal costs last year by recycling.

More than 176,000 tons of the Postal Service’s recyclable paper waste is in the form of undeliverable Marketing Mail.

This waste is handled by backhaul recycling, which returns undeliverable Marketing Mail to service hubs where it is consolidated and then sent for revenue-generating recycling.

More than 18,000 USPS facilities participate in backhaul recycling.

Here are more Postal Service recycling facts:

• Plastic wrap. The organization recycled more than 4,700 tons of plastic wrap in 2021, saving more than 3.2 million gallons of oil from being used to manufacture new plastic wrap.

• Electronic waste. In 2021, USPS recycled more than 895 tons of cellphones, computers, printers, monitors and other electronics.

• Cardboard boxes. The organization recycled more than 78,000 tons of cardboard in 2021 and is implementing an initiative to reduce the amount spent on new cardboard boxes.

The Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability Blue page and the Sustainability page on have more information on the Postal Service’s recycling efforts.