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[GreenYes] Fwd: [jtrnet] ReDO helping Postal Service increase donations of undelivered items
-----Original Message-----
From: ReDO [mailto:info@redo.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 4:22 PM
To: JTRNET
Subject: [jtrnet] ReDO takes lead in helping Postal Service increase donations of undelivered items

ReDO Reuse Forum Subscribers:
 
Here is some very exciting news!  ReDO is pleased to be among a team of very persistent and dedicated people and organizations that made this announcement possible.  Special thanks to Tom Watson who works for the King County Solid Waste Division, heads up the National Waste Prevention Coalition, and, until very recently was a member of ReDO's Board of Directors.  Also, thanks to Bill Ewing, Director of the Maryland Foodbank and co-President of ReDO's Board of Directors, who provided a great deal of support to this effort.  And, finally, a very special thanks to Leanne Meyer who was formerly with the US Postal Service in Lansing, Michigan.  It was her who suggested many years ago that there was a great opportunity for reuse over disposal if there was a way to get the postal regulations changed.  Leanne now heads up the materials-for-education reuse program in Lansing called Creation Station. 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 6, 2002
Contact:  Julie L. Rhodes, ReDO Executive Director, 317/631-5395 or
                     Tom Watson, King County Solid Waste Division, 206/296-4481
 
ReDO takes lead in helping Postal Service
increase donations of undelivered items
New U.S. Postal Service regulations that went into effect October 31, 2002, will make it easier for the Postal Service to donate undelivered product samples and other undelivered items to food banks and homeless shelters. The new regulations should also increase the number of items that are donated.

The Reuse Development Organization, Inc. (ReDO) and the National Waste Prevention Coalition, along with the King County (Washington) Solid Waste Division, played a major role in developing these regulations with the Postal Service. Staff and board members with these organizations solicited and provided input from around the country, wrote the first draft of the proposed regulations, and worked directly with top Postal Service environmental officials to help move the regulations through a long process.
"These changes will help many Americans who need food and basic supplies," said Bill Ewing, executive director of the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore, and co-chair of the ReDO board of directors. "We're very pleased the Postal Service has taken this step to streamline and improve these regulations, and we're glad that we could help them with this."
The Postal Service has estimated that U.S. post offices get stuck with up to 164,000 tons every year of undelivered product samples alone, not to mention other undelivered products and items. The new regulations will make it much easier for all undelivered items - food, toothpaste, shampoo, diapers and many other items - to be distributed to people who need them. For example, in the past, undelivered, unopened toiletries and over-the-counter drugs were not supposed to be donated at all. The new regulations specify that these items should be donated to food banks, shelters or other non-profits.
ReDO and America's Second Harvest will work in partnership with their affiliates and the Postal Service in communities across the country to make sure these product donations get to the people that need it most. America's Second Harvest provides emergency food assistance to more than 23 million hungry Americans each year.

ReDO promotes the reuse of surplus and discarded materials by assisting reuse programs around the nation to meet environmental and social objectives.

The National Waste Prevention Coalition is a national network advocating waste reduction and reuse. The Coalition is coordinated by King County Solid Waste Division in Seattle.
The new Postal Service regulations are online at http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/bulletin/2002/html/pb22088 in the "Domestic Mail" section of the Postal Bulletin.

- 30 -
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Accompanying Fact Sheet:
New U.S. Postal Service Regulations
on Donations of Undelivered Items
 
How Food Banks, Non-Profits Can Benefit
 
On Oct. 31, 2002, new U.S. Postal Service regulations went into effect that will make it easier for U.S. post offices to donate undelivered product samples and other undelivered items to food banks and homeless shelters. The new regulations should also increase the number of items that are donated.
Provisions of the new regulations include:
  • The new streamlined, simplified language makes it clear that undelivered items should be "impartially and equitably" donated by local post offices to food banks, shelters and other charitable non-profits that agree to distribute them for free.
  • For the first time, post offices are officially allowed to donate undelivered, unopened over-the-counter drugs (aspirin samples, for example) and toiletries (soap, toothpaste, etc.) to food banks and other non-profits.
  • There is no longer a requirement that a non-profit that receives these donated items from the Postal Service needs to be partly or fully supported by government funding. (The old regulations implied that preference should be given to donating the items to hospitals, prisons and municipal welfare departments.)
How can my organization benefit from these changes?

Any food bank or other charitable non-profit can contact their local post office and ask to be put on a list to receive undelivered product samples and other undelivered items. For food items, the receiving organization may be required to sign a release taking full responsibility for the handling and use of the items.

Although all post offices have received notice of the new regulations in the U.S. Postal Bulletin, it may be several weeks or months before some post offices are totally familiar with the new regulations, so be patient. Keep in mind that local post offices still have some leeway in how they interpret these regulations.

Food banks or other non-profits interested in receiving these items are encouraged to print out a copy of the regulations and take it to their post office when inquiring about this. The Internet version of the new regulations (in the Postal Bulletin) is at:

http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/bulletin/2002/pb22088.pdf (This is an Adobe Acrobat "PDF" file.) On the left, click on "Domestic Mail" and then scroll down to the heading, "Dead Mail." To print out the new regulations, just print pages 17 and 18.

Why were the regulations changed? The Postal Service wanted to make these items available to people who could use them, while at the same time reducing the amount of waste they dispose of. The Reuse Development Organization (ReDO) and the National Waste Prevention Coalition asked the Postal Service to make these changes and worked with the agency in developing the regulations, which involved a long process of more than two years.

Questions? Contact ReDO at 317/631-5395 or Second Harvest at 312/263-2303.
Sent by:  Julie L. Rhodes, Executive Director
Reuse Development Organization, Inc.
PO Box 441363
Indianapolis, Indiana 46244
317/631-5395  fax 317/631-5396
info@redo.org  www.redo.org
ReDO:  Making more reuse happen faster!
 
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