Udall drafts legislation for post office recycling
SUMMIT COUNTY – Rep. Mark Udall, D-Boulder, has drafted legislation that allows local recycling programs to place their bins in U.S. post offices so customers can discard their unwanted mail.
The issue came to a head earlier this summer when a district operations manager on the Front Range told Summit County postmasters to have Summit Recycling Project bins removed.
That action created an uproar among citizens, who said the post office wasn’t doing “the right thing.” Postal officials said they didn’t want to make it any easier than it already is for customers to toss their junk mail, which represents about 85 percent of the postal service’s revenue.
Udall received scores of e-mails, faxes and phone calls on the issue, ultimately resulting in the regional director for Colorado and Wyoming reversing the recycling bin ban.
The legislation Udall drafted requires the U.S. Postal Service to implement recycling policies and procedures and to consult with local service providers to ensure that the programs reflect the community’s interest.
“Many Americans, especially rural folks, don’t have carrier service and have their mail delivered to a post office box,” he said. “Placing recycling containers at these facilities would not only provide a convenience, it would also encourage the recycling of tons of unwanted mail and keep those materials from filling up local landfill space. It’s a common sense policy that is in the best interest of the public, the environment and the management of trash at post offices.”
Udall said the draft bill would make sure the post office lives up to its own recycling policies issued in 1997, which encourages recycling throughout the agency.
“It doesn’t pose a cost, maintenance or custodial burden to the post office,” he said. “Providing the choice to recycle demonstrates that the postal service is not only a good neighbor for communities but also is sensitive to the environment and benefits that come with recycling.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or
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