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More than 85 billion pieces of unsolicited mail get dropped in mail boxes around the country each year – about 100 pounds for every household. Read on for easy instructions to help you lighten the load in your mailbox and stop the cycle of waste.
Not only can junk mail fill your mailbox and add to your household's clutter, it wastes our planet's resources. Metro and Catalog Choice offer you a free online service to help you stop the waste of unwanted phone books, catalogs and mail.
Use the instructions below to cut down on junk mail waste offline, one phone call or postcard at a time.
When contacting a company that is sending you unwanted mail, you’ll improve your chances of getting your name removed from their list by providing the exact name and address on the label you receive.
When unwanted mail comes with a postage-paid envelope, use it to return the mailing label along with a written request to remove your name from the organization’s mailing list.
After you contact companies, be patient – it can take three to six months to see results. And you may need to contact them again in five years or sooner if the junk mail arriving in your mail box starts to increase.
Many companies that send unwanted mail are members of the Direct Marketing Association. Call 212-768-7277 to request that your name be placed on the suppression file or send a note with a $1 check or money order (not cash) to:
Mail Preference Service
C/O Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Some direct marketing businesses are members of DMA, so it might be more effective to contact some businesses directly. There’s no harm in doubling up.
Acxiom (request an opt-out form)
Abacus (to stop unwanted catalogs)
P.O. Box 1478
Broomfield, CO 80038
InfoUSA / Donnelley Marketing
1020 E. First Street
Papillion, NE 68046
Publishers Clearing House
382 Channel Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
P.O. Box 50005
Prescott, AZ 86301-5005
Valpak Coupons (Cox Target Media)
Valassis Direct Mail, Inc. (or Red Plum)
Director of List Maintenance
P.O. Box 249
Windsor, CT 06095
or call 800-437-0479
Contact your credit card companies directly. To opt out of Trans Union, Equifax and Experian lists call 888-567-8688 every two years.
Many directories dropped at your door have opt-out instructions on the front or the inside cover. Otherwise, call the company that distributes the directory.
You can also opt out of phone books online with a free service from Metro and Catalog Choice.