Junk mail wastes an incredible amount of natural resources and contributes to climate change. It's good to recycle your junk mail. It's even better to stop getting it!
The average American receives 40 pounds of catalogs and other junk mail every year. Roughly 40% of the materials collected for recycling in Shoreline are mixed paper, like junk mail, which doesn’t have a strong market for reuse. Reducing junk mail gets clutter out of your mailbox, frees up your time, and helps protect the environment.
Three Steps to Reduce Junk Mail
1. Unsubscribe from Catalogs
- Use Catalog Choice to unsubscribe from major catalogs and mailers.
- Use DMAChoice to opt out of catalogs, credit offers, magazine offers, and other junk mail. There is a $2 processing fee when you register for the service.
- Some catalogs may not be listed on either service, in which case you will need to contact them directly. Catalog Choice will help you do this, or you can use the contact information on the catalog.
2. Opt Out of Coupon Packs and Other Junk Mail
- Opt out of Valpak coupons
- Opt out of Valassis/RetailMeNot coupons every five years or when you move
- Register on the industry-run National Do Not Mail List
3. Opt Out of Pre-Screened Credit Card Offers
- Opt out of pre-screened credit card offers, or call 1-888-567-8688 to remove your name from lists that the consumer credit reporting companies sell to companies for prescreened and preapproved credit card and insurance policy offers. You will have the opportunity to choose either a five-year removal or a permanent removal.
Go the Extra Mile
- Stop junk mail before it begins. Write "Please do not rent or sell my name" next to your name every time you enter a contest, make a purchase or donation, join a retailer’s preferred shopper club, or return a warranty card to prevent your name and address from being sold on a mailing list.
- Contact companies and organizations directly to stop unwanted mail. Use their customer service telephone number or make your request via e-mail or from the company’s website.
- Choose not to receive a phone book. If you are still receiving printed telephone directories at your house, you can opt-out of having them delivered with the National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice & Opt-Out Site.
- Refuse and return to sender. Some junk mail is marked "address correction requested" or "return postage guaranteed." If your mail has this wording, return it unopened to the sender by writing "Refused - return to sender" on the envelope.
- Go paperless on bills. Many of the bills and statements you get in the mail have digital options. Opt-in to paperless options directly on their websites or by calling them.
- Make sure you recycle any junk mail you don’t want! That includes paper envelopes with plastic windows, which should be placed in the recycle bin.
A Few Important Notes
- While you can greatly reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by using opt-out services, you will not be able to stop all junk mail. Some mail is sent to all households in your area—such as political mail and advertisements from local stores, grocers, and restaurants. These offers may not have opt-out options.
- You’ll also continue to receive mail from companies that you currently do business with. To stop these types of offers, directly write, email or visit each company’s website and unsubscribe from their catalog manually through customer service.
- Be patient - it may take a few months for changes to go into effect.
- Make sure to update your preferences and opt-out of unwanted mail whenever you move.
- If you do not have a computer at home, you can get on the Internet at the library.
Listed businesses and organizations are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by the City of Shoreline.