Haul on wheels

Sacramento District is using USPS vehicles to haul paper and other recyclables.

Sacramento District is proving going green saves greenbacks.

In 2015, the district decided to revamp its sustainability efforts.

Instead of paying private companies to haul recyclables, the district decided to reduce its carbon footprint by backhauling — using Postal Service vehicles to haul recyclables to recycling centers on return trips from facilities.

A staging area for collecting and transporting recyclables was established at the Sacramento, CA, Processing and Distribution Center. One hundred eleven offices throughout the district participated in the program.

Backhauling saved the district more than $11,000 in monthly fees to private haulers. The district also made a net profit of more than $117,000 from recycling in 2015, compared to a net loss of about $55,000 in 2014.

The district is projecting an increase of 727 tons of recyclable paper over the previous year, a 38 percent increase.

The district’s efforts were recently recognized with one of this year’s 10 Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Awards.

“Backhauling has enabled a complete turnaround from the net losses when monthly hauling fees far exceeded monthly revenue,” said Maintenance Manager Thomas Lewis.