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The United States Postal Service

United States Postal Service (USPS) BlueEarth Federal Recycling Program

USPS BlueEarth USPS - BlueEarth Federal Recycling Program

The United States Postal Service decided to leverage its national delivery and retail network to provide a convenient recycling service to federal government agencies, in order to prevent electronic devices and products from being improperly discarded, while at the same time generating additional revenue. This service, called the USPS BlueEarth™ Federal Recycling Program, has already shown positive results.

Proper disposal of discarded electronic devices is an issue of increasing environmental concern, as some of these electronic devices and products contain hazardous materials, such as heavy metals, that cause health and environmental damage when sent to landfills. Currently, only 10-15% of unwanted, unused electronic devices and products in USPSthe United States are being recycled. Considering the high amount of devices being discarded – in the United States alone, 130m mobile phones are retired annually – the environmental impact is significant.


United States Postal Service 

As federal government employees upgrade their electronic devices and products, the outdated models may be improperly discarded, harming the environment. With some of these federal agencies located in remote locations and no available local recycling facilities available, USPS saw an opportunity to increase correct recycling of electronic devices and equipment from federal agencies and their staff’s households

In this framework, USPS launched the BlueEarth™ Federal Recycling Program, which has two main components:

  • A recycling programme for federal government agencies for official equipment at the agency location, with customised metrics and monitoring reports
  • A recycling programme for federal government agency employees for disposal of their personal property from office or home

A USPS-designated certified recycling provider funds the postage costs required to transport the unwanted, unused electronic devices and products by US Mail from federal government agencies’ locations to the USPS-designated certified recycling provider.

Based on results to date, USPS finds the programme to be successful. It provides an effective recycling model to USPS’s partners and customers in federal government agencies. Currently five federal agencies are participating and another 20 agencies are in the queue, further increasing revenue and environmental benefits