Postal Service recycling efforts – batteries, oil, etc


52,000 pounds of batteries

In 2022, the Postal Service recycled 52,000 pounds of small lead-acid and dry cell batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, which are found in cellphones, laptops, scanners and other small electronics.

* | Tags: Common good USPS Fact #534 | March 20, 2023

The Postal Service is an environmental leader. We believe it’s our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.

  • The Postal Service collaborates with large mailers to securely process and destroy undeliverable-as-addressed or return-to-sender First-Class Mail with its USPS BlueEarth Secure Destruction mail service. This is a win-win. The program helps reduce mailing industry carbon impact and reduces costs. In 2022, the Postal Service securely processed and recycled 123.76 million pieces of mail.
  • The USPS BlueEarth Federal Recycling Program transports and recycles used electronics for federal agencies with no shipping or item disposition costs. This free program is available to all federal agencies and federal employees. Thirty-seven U.S. federal agencies are enrolled in this sustainable mail service program and in FY 2022 recycled 467,745 pounds and refurbished 101,992 pounds of inkjet/toner cartridges and small electronics.
  • The USPS BlueEarth Product Carbon Accounting service continued to grow in 2022. The service provides large commercial customers a customized statement of carbon emissions associated with the customer’s mailings.
  • The Postal Service works with suppliers to maximize the use of recycled materials in the manufacturing of stamps, postcards and packaging.
  • Postal customers can recycle their mail at participating Post Offices. Recycle bins are available in many Post Office lobbies nationwide.
  • USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express paper packaging meets Sustainable Forestry Initiative or Forest Stewardship Council certification standards. This means that the paper is sourced through a careful chain of custody that ensures the pulp comes from sustainably managed forests.
  • Our partnership with How2Recycle helps customers and employees understand how to properly recycle our products. It’s a labeling system with clear instructions on our packaging including the USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packaging found in our Post Office locations and available on
  • Using recycled content materials helps extend the life of Earth’s precious natural resources thereby reducing impacts to the environment. Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packaging contains an average of 84 percent recycled content for all packaging types and 98 percent recycled content for paper and cardboard packaging.
  • The Postal Service recycled 370,000 gallons of used oil — equivalent to saving more than 15 million gallons of crude oil.