How to Stop USPS Junk Mail

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The average American receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year. Not only does junk mail clog up our mailboxes, it also wreaks havoc on the environment. Nearly half of the junk mail received annually (44 percent) ends up in a landfill. In addition, nearly $320 million in local tax money is used to dispose of junk mail, and more than 100 million trees are used to create pulpwood for paper products. While the United States Postal Service does not have a one-stop method for reducing junk mail, there are many ways to reduce the amount you receive.

1 Is delivered using first class postage

Black out the bar code and address on all junk mail that is delivered using first class postage. Put a circle around the postage and write "Not accepted: return to sender." This can be put in any mail box, and it will be returned to the business that sent it.

2 Request a 1500 form from the U.S. Postal Service

Request a 1500 form from the U.S. Postal Service to stop the delivery of sexually explicit material.

3 OPT OUT to stop mail

Call 1-800-5 OPT OUT to stop mail generated from the three major credit reporting agencies. This will stop the majority of credit card offers.

4 Contact by phone

Contact by phone, mail or email all companies that send out catalogs and request to be taken off their mailing lists.

5 Call 1-800-645-9242

Call 1-800-645-9242 to be taken off the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Mailing list.

6 Contact American Family

Contact American Family at 1-800-237-2400 to be removed from its sweepstakes mailing list.

7 Call or write the Direct Marketing Association

Call or write the Direct Marketing Association (see Resources) and ask them to activate the preference service. This will eliminate close to three quarters of all direct mail for 5 years. You will need to sign up again after 5 years.

Shelly Schumacher has a diverse writing background that includes work in print as well as electronic publications. She has been writing for over 18 years and enjoys working with a variety of different clients on both writing projects and as a marketing and public relations consultant. Schumacher holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.