Junk mail at post office gets recycled | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Junk mail at post office gets recycled

Even though all trash goes into the garbage cans at the 10 South Shore post offices, it is screened. Real garbage gets tossed; junk paper goes into recycling bins.

South Tahoe Refuse picks up the recyclables in California several times a week. It is then sold in bundles for about $45 a ton, depending on the market, said Jeanne Lear, human resources manager at South Tahoe Refuse. In October, they sold 24 tons of mixed paper, Lear said.

South Tahoe Refuse started recycling paper on a large-scale basis in 1998 when it installed bunkers to store the wire-wrapped bales of mixed paper, each weighing about 700 pounds.

“Initially we just did cardboard boxes, newspapers and office paper,” Lear said. “There was almost no market for mixed paper. Now it’s a catch-all; we do phonebooks, cereal boxes, brochures, junk mail, catalogs.”

The post offices in California in the past used wheeled mail bins to collect mixed paper. They switched to garbage cans because they are not as heavy, said Carolyn Willford, a supervisor at the main post office on Al Tahoe Boulevard.

The three post offices on the Nevada side said they collect mixed paper, some from the garbage, some sent to boxes no longer in use. Employees truck the paper to Reno for recycling.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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