How to Reduce Unwanted Junk Mail

The average American receives approximately 41 pounds of junk mail every year and spends over 70 hours sorting through it. Approximately 1/3 of this unwanted mail is actually recycled. By reducing the amount of unwanted mail you receive, you will not only conserve natural resources, but you will reduce the hassle of dealing with it.

Here are some tips on how to reduce the amount of junk mail you recieve:

Mail Preference Service

The Direct Marketing Association offers a free Mail Preference Service that reaches some of the largest direct marketing organizations in the country. Registration can be completed through one of the following methods: Visit the DMA website at and fill out the online form. For more information, or call (212) 768-7277.

National Mailers

Large mailing lists are maintained by national advertisers for mailing coupons and circulars. It usually takes six to eight weeks for your request to become effective: ShopWiseTM (ADVO, Inc.) – Visit the ADVO website at to print out the form to remove your name from their list. This is a free service. For more information, call ADVO at 888-241-6760

ValpakR (Cox Target Media) – Visit the Cox Target Media website at or call 888-797-1896 to remove your name from their mailing list.

Contact Individual Mailers

Some companies do not use national systems to develop their mailing lists. You will need to contact these companies directly and request that your name be removed from the mailing list. To contact these companies, you will need to look at the piece of mail and find a telephone number, mailing address, e-mail address, or website. Credit Card Offers The major consumer credit bureaus have established a toll-free number, 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688), for people to call to have their names removed from lists for pre-approved credit card solicitations. You will be asked for your social security number, full name, address, and telephone number. You can also visit their website at to have your name removed.

Mail List Brokers

The following firms provide mailing lists for non-financial data. Call the toll-free numbers to request that your name be removed from their lists: Experian (800) 228-4571, ext. 4633 Polk Company (800) 464-7655

Business Junk Mail

Businesses often receive junk mail in the form of catalogs for products and services and mail for employees who no longer work for the company. Businesses interested in reducing the amount of unwanted mail they receive may visit: Business Junk Mail Reduction Project – a project of the National Waste Prevention Coalition Ecological Mail Coalition – – maintains a database of names of former employees and notifies marketers to remove these names from their lists.