USPS Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program

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Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program
FoundedOctober 28, 2008
Number of locations
over 8,064
(as of April 2010)[1][2]
Area served
United States
ServicesPaper recycling
WebsiteProgram website
A pile of junk mail

The Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program is a project of the United States Postal Service (USPS) that was created on October 28, 2008, for mail customers to recycle paper items, using recycling bins placed in the customer lobbies of post office buildings.[3][4] Some of the goals of the program are to reduce the amount of paper waste going to landfills, which helps to reduce the consumption of fiber from trees used for paper production and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal.[4][5] USPS receives revenue from selling the material, and no tax dollars are used to fund the project.[1] USPS was reported as having recycled over 200,000 short tons (180,000 tonnes) of waste in 2009, including paper, plastics and other waste.[1][2]


Some U.S. post offices do not participate in the program, and sometimes recycle paper items independently of the program, in bins in their employee work areas.[6] Some reasons for non-participation are building space constraints and limited personnel at some U.S. post offices.[6] At some post offices, mail received that is undeliverable is recycled.[6] As of 2010, some U.S. post offices did not participate in the program.[6]


In March 2009, the total number of bins was increased by 1,844, to a total of nearly 5,900 recycling bins.[3][4][7][8]

In April 2010, it was reported that the number of post offices participating in the program had increased to 8,064.[1][2]


USPS "Slim Jim" recycling bin for unwanted mail

The program uses 23-US-gallon (87 l)-capacity plastic bins, which USPS refers to as "Slim Jims".[9] The bins have lockable lids and have a narrow insertion slot to maintain customer privacy and limit the potential of discarded mail being stolen for the harvesting of personal information.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Koch, Wendy (March 1, 2010). "Postal Service: Stop! We'll help you recycle that mail". USA Today. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Recycling in post offices increases". American Recycler (newspaper). April 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Herron, Joyce (Acting Postmaster) (March 16, 2009). "Letter: Post office starts recycling program". Columbia Missourian. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "'Read, Respond, Recycle' Mail" (PDF). Release No. 09-026. United States Postal Service. March 12, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2012. program launched here today builds on the tremendous success of similar programs that have been ongoing
  5. ^ Johnson, Jim (February 16, 2010). "USPS expands recycling program to 2,500 additional sites". Waste & Recycling News. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Bingaman, Brian (January 22, 2010). "Not all post offices on board with USPS recycling program". Montgomery News. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "USPS Brings Paper Recycling to Post Office Lobbies". Recycling Today Magazine. March 2009. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2012. (Functional article link: "USPS Brings Paper Recycling to Post Office Lobbies"
  8. ^ "Mail Call: Post offices offer mail-recycling program". March 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2012.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Use Slim Jims — Secured Lobby Recycling Containers". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2021-02-14.

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