Recycling change

The USPS BlueEarth Federal Recycling Program is revising its eligible recyclable products list on and is temporarily removing inkjet and toner cartridges from those products accepted as of Oct. 18.

This move is the result of a recycling supplier unexpectedly withdrawing from the recycling market.

The Office of Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability and Supply Management are developing new processes for handling used ink and toner cartridges.

Planning is underway to return these items to the list as soon as possible, and more information will be made available on interim guidance concerning the recycling of these products.

The Postal Service annually diverts more than 277,000 tons of waste — including paper, cardboard, plastic and other materials — from landfills as part of the organization’s commitment to sustainability and green initiatives.

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‘When Disaster Strikes’

With the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian still being calculated, a story in the latest issue of The Eagle magazine, “When Disaster Strikes,” comes at an apt moment.

Using the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico as its main case study, the article explains why USPS is uniquely equipped to respond to such disasters.

The federal government requires some services to be maintained during — or to resume within 12 hours of — a disaster. Mail delivery is one such service.

In addition to the mandate to get the mail out as quickly and safely as possible, the organization has many assets — both tangible and intangible — of use in relief efforts.

These include the organization’s comprehensive address database and extensive physical network, and, with letter carriers often the first outside eyes on a scene of devastation, crucial disaster reconnaissance.

Postal Service operations can also assist other agencies with transportation, housing, water delivery and more.

Another advantage is the organization’s workforce. Postal employees often live in the affected communities and therefore may have the best sense of conditions on the ground.

In the case of Maria, letter carriers helped map which roads were blocked by mudslides, downed trees and sinkholes. They also informed relief agencies of sick and older residents in remote areas.

Many of these employees, themselves affected by the storm, worked seven days a week in the aftermath of Maria, often bearing care packages sent to residents from relatives on the mainland.

While its value is intangible, an operating Postal Service may be one of the most important psychological assets a disaster-stricken community has.

“The first delivery of mail or reopened Post Offices often provide the initial signs of a return to normalcy,” the article says.

“When Disaster Strikes” can be found in Issue 5 of The Eagle magazine.

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News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.90 percent during the week ending Sept. 30, down 0.15 from one week earlier.

The data was collected Oct. 5.

WestPac led the four areas with a rating of 97.06 percent, while Southern ranked last with a 96.79 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, IA-NE-SD, part of Central Area, ranked first with a 97.97 percent rating, while Illinois 1, also part of Central Area, ranked last with a 92.05 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From July 1-Sept. 23, the Postal Service delivered 93.2 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared with the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 94.7 percent of Marketing Mail and 86.8 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

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Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar to lean about the “golden hour” of the workday.

The session, “The Golden Hour,” will be held Oct. 12 at noon EDT.

Representatives from American Public Education Inc. will conduct the webinar and explain the importance of taking a lunch break for recharging and improving overall well-being.

Participants must register before the event on the webinar website. After signing up, directions will be emailed to each registrant.

Following the session, registrants will receive an email with a link to an archived recording, along with the slides shown.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.