Bin it to win it

Clatskanie, OR, Postmaster Pam Wantland displays her Postmaster General Sustainability Award, which is made of recyclable materials. Image: The Daily News

Recycling is a way of life at the Clatskanie, OR, Post Office.

The office has added more recycling bins for customers, who’ve responded enthusiastically.

“In small, rural towns like Clatskanie, curbside recycling isn’t always available,” Postmaster Pam Wantland told The Daily News this month. “Customers can appreciate an environmentally responsible alternative to bringing home or discarding their mail.”

As the bins have filled, costs have decreased. The office has reduced garbage pickup from weekly to every other week, cutting annual costs by 15 percent.

Clatskanie’s success has earned the office a Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Award, which honors facilities that help USPS become more sustainable. The office is one of 10 recipients this year.

“We’re totally dumbfounded and stoked and very proud,” Wantland said.

She also appreciates how the team works together.

For example, Custodian Scott Potter and Retail Associate Dana Potter — who are married — move recyclable items from trash cans to recycling bins.

“So proud of all of my employees,” Wantland said. “This is just fantastic that they’re recognized for something that, quite frankly, they don’t think about doing because it’s so automatic for them.”