Proctorville Post Office ‘going green’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 22, 2010

PROCTORVILLE — Sometimes junk mail makes it only as far as from the post office box to the trashcan by the door. Other times it finds its way to take up residence on various surfaces in the house, eventually making it to the trash can and subsequently, the landfill.

The United States Postal Service is trying to do its part to go a little greener and has placed recycling containers at 10,000 locations across the country, with a new location at the Proctorville branch.

Alan Spitz, postmaster of the Proctorville branch, said their location has had the recycling program up and running for somewhere between four and six weeks and that it has been a success.

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“On a daily basis, we would have five to six bags of trash, and now we have one bag a day,” Spitz said.

Spitz said it is a voluntary program and a branch just had to send an e-mail stating an interest in the program.

“We had talked about it before, ourselves, but we had no way to do it, since we’d be taking mail with people’s addresses to another place,” Spitz said. Now the USPS has provided a way.

The mail is taken from the indoor recycling containers and placed in a larger container that is picked up about once a week and shipped to Columbus, where a recycling center takes it from there.

“It’s actually a money-maker for the district,” Spitz said. “They get so much per the tonnage (of mail) for the district. Everybody wins. It gets recycled and we make some money.”

Naomi Mitchell, 81, of Proctorville, thinks the plan is a good idea.

“It will save people from packing it home and piling it up,” she said. “That’s the way my husband does.”

The Proctorville branch has gone a step farther and taken it upon itself to begin recycling plastic, with the employees taking it to a recycling center themselves.

“Last year, the Postal Service recycled more than 220,000 tons of paper, plastics and other waste, which avoided more than 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deborah Giannoni-Jackson, vice president, Employee Resource Management, in a press release.

“Lobby recycling is an important part of the Postal Service’s conservation efforts, because it helps divert paper waste from landfills and helps our bottom line, making us greener and smarter.”