USPS Reduce Waste - Equipment Scavenger Hunt

USPS Workers Find $2.57 Million of Unused Equipment Waste

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This summer, USPS launched its first ever “Equipment Scavenger Hunt,” an internal contest for Postal workers to locate and return unused computer, retail, delivery, and networking equipment.

During the contest time, from June 18 to July 8, approximately 13,700 pieces of unused equipment were identified and returned to the US Postal Service Asset Recovery Center in Topeka, Kansas.

The total value of all items returned topped out at $2.57 million.

“Not only will we be able to recycle a large portion of this equipment back into our organization, but we also prevented several tons of electronics from being improperly dumped into landfills. Success like this is a collateral benefit of engagement, and we saw very large pockets of engagement, competition and fun all over the country,” said Technology Transformation Manager JeNard Gibson.

The top USPS facility to return unused items was Royal Oaks in Sacramento, CA, which found $26,102 of equipment collecting dust.

Among the four US Postal Service areas, postal facilities in the southern area netted the biggest trove of equipment gold at $1.03 million returned.

Participating USPS employees received gas cards, food, and other prizes based on the monetary value of the returned items.

Recycling Equipment Won’t Solve USPS Budget Shortfall

While the equipment returned won’t make much of a dent in the budget shortfall by the US Postal Service today, it highlights an attempt in a creative way to cut down on expenses and waste in the organization.

Last year, USPS unveiled its 10-year ‘Delivering For America‘ plan to return the Post Office to financial sustainability.

In April, President Biden signed the bipartisan Postal Reform bill into law which transformed how postal workers’ health and pension plans would be managed going forward, saving the Postal Service billions of Dollars per year.

But despite the benefits of the reforms passed into law, Post Master General Louis Dejoy said at the last Postal Service Board of Governors meeting that “we are still looking at $60 to $70 billion of losses over that [10-year] period.”

This means the US Postal Service still has a lot of work to streamline operations to reduce costs.

While big changes like adjusting service standards (longer delivery times in many cases), changing its fleet to more efficient delivery vehicles, and further increasing postage rates in competitive products are making headline news, small initiatives such as better asset management will also contribute to regaining financial stability.

Some people may laugh at the minuscule amount of waste identified, but this contest clearly was more about awareness across the entire postal system than short-term financial results.

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