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Stop Unwanted Paper Mail

Easy tips to stop specific types of unwanted paper mail

The amount of paper junk mail sent each year in the United States is about 4 million tons. Most of the 4 million tons of junk mail is never opened.

Recycling junk mail

If you recycle your unwanted junk mail, there are still enormous environmental costs in terms of ink, energy to produce deliver and recycle the paper, recycling inefficiencies and loss of virgin forest to create the high quality glossy paper much junk mail uses.

Easy tips to stop specific types of unwanted paper mail

  • First class mail: Cross out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write "refused: return to sender". Place it in any mail box and it will be returned to the sender.
  • Bulk mail: Bulk mail is the hardest to deal with because the United States Postal Service throws away bulk mail it can't deliver. Also, the United States Postal Service actively provides addresses, support and encouragement to mailers. If you write and circle "address correction requested" on the label the Postal Service will treat it like first class mail.
  • Sexually Oriented Advertising:Fill out United States Postal Service form 1500 if you do not want to receive sexually oriented advertising. Sexually oriented advertising can be women's clothing catalogs and automotive parts catalogs.
  • ADVO (Mail comes with pictures of missing children). Call 1-860-285-6100 to get off the list. You may have to send a postcard to "ADVO Consumer Assistance, POB 249, Windsor CT 06095-4176".
  • Val-Pak Coupons: click the link and fill out the form - easy, but don't give them your email address.
  • Carol Wright Call 1-800-67-TARGET to get off the list.
  • Credit offers: Most major credit agencies sell aggregate credit information to any bidder. Direct mail and credit companies generate mail based on demographics including zip code, income band and credit payment patterns. The easiest way to stop credit card offers is to call 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day. Sample opt-letter to send credit card bureaus.
  • Catalogs: Call the catalog's company's 800 number and have the label handy. Write your instructions on the mailing label and fax it to the company. Mark "ATTN: customer service".
  • AOL (America On-Line): Call 1-800-605-4297 (24 hours a day) to get off the list. Tell them your first name is "current", last name "resident".
  • Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes: You can get the Clearinghouse to stop clogging your mailbox by contacting customer service at 1-800-645-9242 (8:30 am to 8:30 EST), sending a fax to 1-800-453-0272, mailing to 101 Channel Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050, or you can send email to pch@ant.net. PCH will remove any number of names from a specific address, but you have to list each name exactly.
  • American Family Sweepstakes: Call them at 1-800-237-2400 and ask them to take your name off their mailing list.

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