Recycled mail

The Postal Service recycles 200,000 tons of undeliverable Marketing Mail each year, and now some of that mail is being turned into home insulation.

USPS is marking America Recycles Day by highlighting a recycling test taking place in Utah.

America Recycles Day, held each Nov. 15, is a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of recycling.

In September, three Utah facilities began sending undeliverable Marketing Mail to a plant owned by Greenfiber, a company that makes home insulation material from recycled paper.

Called cellulose-based insulation, this material is an alternative to fiberglass and formaldehyde-treated insulation material.

The Utah facilities — Provo East Bay Processing and Distribution Facility, Salt Lake City Processing and Distribution Center, and Salt Lake City Auxiliary Service Facility — receive undeliverable Marketing Mail on return shipments from the Post Offices they serve.

The facilities then consolidate the recyclable mail into special containers, which are then transported to Greenfiber’s mill, a process that is expected to generate revenue for the Postal Service.

“In the past, we paid a company to recycle this waste stream for us,” said Jerry Jensen, a USPS environmental field support specialist in Ogden, UT. “Now it is a revenue stream for us because we are working directly with Greenfiber.”

Since the initiative began, 277 tons of undeliverable Marketing Mail and cardboard have been recycled.

The test is part of the Postal Service’s broader recycling efforts. The organization recycled 297,000 tons of material -— primarily paper, cardboard and plastic — from Post Offices and mail processing facilities during fiscal year 2019 (Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019).

The Sustainability Blue page has more information about USPS recycling initiatives.

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Easy does it

Do you need help figuring out which health care, dental and vision plans are best for you during open season?

If so, you can use Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans on the Open Season LiteBlue page to compare available options.

Once you’re ready to make a change, use PostalEASE to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or USPS Health Benefits Plan.

You can access PostalEASE from the Benefits Enrollment Changes section of the Open Season LiteBlue page or by calling the employee service line at 877-477-3273 (select Option 1). The Federal Relay Service number is 800-877-8339.

To make changes to your dental or vision plans, log on to the BENEFEDS website or call 877-888-3337 (TTY: 877-899-5680).

To enroll in a flexible spending account, use the FSAFEDS site or call 877-372-3337 (TTY: 800-952-0450).

Open season, the annual period when you can make changes to your health coverage, began this week and ends Monday, Dec. 14.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 97.03 percent during the week ending Nov. 6, down 0.14 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected Nov. 12.

Western-Pacific led the four areas with a rating of 97.39 percent, while Southern ranked last with a 96.65 percent rating.

Among the 67 districts, Dakotas, part of Western-Pacific Area, ranked first with a rating of 98.76 percent, while Mississippi, part of Southern Area, ranked last with a 94.08 percent rating.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Open season information. USPS will offer its “Making the Most of Open Season” webinar three times during the next week.

Each session will take place through the Zoom videoconferencing platform; participants can also use their phone to dial into the meetings.

Here’s the lineup:

• Saturday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1600423462; password: 413862)

• Monday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1615613275; password: 360728)

• Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1605118324; password: 627758)

Additionally, employees can participate in a live chat with health insurance experts on Friday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

The chat is part of the Virtual Benefits Fair, an online event that is running during this year’s benefits enrollment period. Participants can register on the fair website.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional information.

Open season overview. Speaking of open season: Postal Bulletin’s Nov. 5 edition features an overview, along with the latest updates to policies, procedures and forms.

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Leading the way

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. What’s the name of the current campaign to encourage Postal Service employees to submit sales leads?

a) Get the Red Out
b) Go for the Gold
c) The Power of One
d) Race for a $Billion

2, True or false: During the coronavirus pandemic, USPS employees who make deliveries are required to avoid ringing doorbells when possible.

a) True
b) False

3. When does this year’s open season benefits enrollment period end?

a) Nov. 30
b) Dec. 9
c) Dec. 14
d) Dec. 31

4. Fill in the blank: The Postal Service workforce includes more than (blank) current or former military service members.

a) 100,000
b) 200,000
c) 300,000
d) 400,000

5. How much from each paycheck is each USPS employee encouraged to give to the charity of their choice during the Combined Federal Campaign?

a) 1 cent
b) $1
c) $2
d) $5

Answers: 1) c. 2) a. 3) c. 4) a. 5) b.

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