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Published: Tuesday, 3/19/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Toledo-area post offices recognized for recycling effort

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Leo Brenot, Northwest Ohio recycling coordinator for the U.S. Post Office in Toledo, was honored for increasing recycling. Leo Brenot, Northwest Ohio recycling coordinator for the U.S. Post Office in Toledo, was honored for increasing recycling.
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Toledo’s U.S. Postal Service was recently awarded a Sustainability Globe Award for its efforts to recycle and cut down on waste.

The award was recently delivered to Leo Brenot, recycling coordinator for the Northwest Ohio region, which includes 196 postal facilities. Mr. Brenot, 40, works from the Toledo post office on South St. Clair Street.

Under Mr. Brenot’s leadership, the amount of recycling has increased more than 600 percent, from 16,000 pounds to more than 100,000 pounds per month, said Thomas G. Day, the postal service’s chief sustainability officer in Washington.

“Making the world a greener place is not easy,” Mr. Day wrote to Mr. Brenot. “Getting the post service to re-think how we can foster a more sustainable business and improve our environment stewardship is an important first step.

“That is why I am especially pleased to recognize your contribution. Your actions have indeed helped the postal service ‘put our stamp on a greener tomorrow.’”

The award is a positive note in a year of bad news for the U.S. Postal Service, including a net loss in 2012 of $15.9 billion, the reduction of hours and staff at many small, rural post offices, and an announced plan to reduce the number of mail processing plants. Most recently, the U.S. Postal Service reported that it would seek to stop Saturday delivery.

Mr. Brenot, who was hired as the recycling coordinator in June, credits his co-workers with making the effort a success.

Thanks to employee cooperation, recycling bins have now replaced trash containers in the lobbies of the 196 facilities, and the solid waste generated from these facilities has decreased by 95 percent, he said.

Employees and customers are encouraged to put all paper, plastic, and cardboard waste into color-coordinated bins.

Since being initiated in June, the recycling program has generated more than $323,000 in revenue, which goes back into the Toledo postal service’s general fund, Mr. Brenot said.

“We’re doing this for our future,” Mr. Brenot said. “Our landfills are filling up. I’m just glad I get to do my part.”



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