USPS Falling Short on Recycling Goals

Three years into a recycling initiative at USPS, the program is falling well short of its goals in terms of material recycled and cost savings, an IG audit has found.

It said that as of last September, the Postal Service had implemented its National Recycling Program–launched in 2014 at a cost of $33 million–at 149 of 178 planned sites, with full implementation targeted for March 2019. However, trash reduction savings had hit only 16 percent of the $32.8 million goal and recycling revenue generated was only 24 percent of the $14.3 million goal.

Even those figures are questionable, a report added, because “facility employees did not accurately record recycling revenue and expenses within the designated general ledger accounts.” This included understated recycling revenue at six sites and an underpayment of revenue due to one processing center.

“These issues occurred because there was ineffective monitoring at the HQ level, the program execution plan was not fully rolled out, and there were no controls to ensure accurate recording of revenue/cost activity,” it said.

It recommended that management strengthen controls over program operations, implement financial monitoring and operational oversight responsibilities over the facilities to the district, and “reassess and adjust program goals as necessary.”