Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

This program helps USPS facilities recycle wooden pallets

May 20, 2024
Pallets story 1

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Not long after moving into a new role as a contract technician at the Tucson, AZ, Processing and Distribution Center a few years ago, Cecilia Chaney noticed the facility was throwing away its excess wooden pallets.

Like many postal facilities, the Tucson center regularly receives pallets from business customers dropping off large volumes of mail. Some pallets are reclaimed by the customers, but many others are left behind, leaving facility managers to figure out what to do with them.

“I didn’t like the thought of these getting trashed and filling landfills when they could be repurposed for so many things — and on top of that, bring in a little revenue for USPS,” Chaney said.

After doing some research, Chaney learned about a pallet recycling program managed by the USPS Asset Accountability Service Center, which sells the items on GovDeals, a website that helps government agencies manage the sale of surplus inventory.

Now, the Tucson facility is using the program to recycle its pallets, helping to generate extra revenue for the Postal Service.

The Asset Accountability Service Center created the pallet recycling program after surveying facilities across the country. The initiative fits with the Delivering for America plan’s sustainability targets, including a goal to divert more waste from landfills.

Almost 9 percent of postal facilities currently participate in the program, which has the goal of reaching 10 percent before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30. So far, more than 15,400 pallets have been sold.

The Asset Accountability Blue page has more information on the program, including a standard work instruction for wooden pallet recycling.

“We’re looking forward to working with Postal Service facilities across the nation to increase participation in the program and help turn waste into revenue through landfill diversion,” said Sam Rogers, the Postal Service’s asset accountability manager.

For her efforts in Tucson, Chaney was recently recognized with a certificate of appreciation from Rogers and other postal leaders.

She said she appreciates the recognition, but she emphasizes the program’s success will require a team effort.

“A shoutout to all the mail handlers and our maintenance crew at our facility for their cooperation to help establish this process in addition to their normal routine,” Chaney said.

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