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Junk Mail Reduction


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Direct mail advertising, commonly referred to as junk mail, is delivered to our mailboxes in frustrating amounts in the form of store mailers, coupon packs, credit card offers and charity solicitations.  All this mail comes at a cost to the environment.  To produce a year’s worth of junk mail, 100 million trees are needed. And 44% of all that junk mail never even gets opened.

Recycling your junk mail is an option but if we want to reduce our consumption of resources, then stopping junk mail before it starts is even better.   

Five Steps to Reducing Junk Mail

To reduce junk mail, you need to limit access to your name and address so that it can’t be traded, rented, or sold to companies who send you unwanted mail. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Prevent junk mail before it starts.

When ordering items through the mail, or subscribing to a publication, include a note that instructs the organization or company to not lend, sell or trade your name to other mailing lists.


Step 2: Remove your name from mailing lists.

Contact these direct marketing firms to request removal from their mailing lists:

  • The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the single largest provider of direct mail lists.  There is a $2 fee for online requests which can be made at
  • Valpak Coupons sends coupon packs in a blue envelope. Be sure to have the envelope on hand so you can fill in your info exactly as seen on the label. Remove your address from their mailing list at


Step 3: Stop credit card offers.

Opt out of receiving pre-approved credit card offers at  It’s a centralized website run by the four major credit bureaus in the United States: Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion. Please note they will ask for your social security number however, you have the option not to provide it.

For credit cards that you already have, call the company directly and ask them to place you on their “in-house” list that is not sold or traded to other companies. 


Step 4: Discontinue unwanted catalogs and phone books.

  • Call the toll-free number listed on most catalogs and ask them to remove your name from their mailing list.
  • Or, register with the non-profit Catalog Choice, and they will assist you with discontinuing unwanted catalogs for free. Visit Catalog at
  • Go to to stop the automatic delivery of phone books.

Business listings should not be construed as an endorsement by the City and County of Denver


Step 5: Communicate your mail preferences with charitable organizations.

Most non-profits don’t use national databases, so you will still be on their mailing list even if you opt out with the DMA.  Any time you make a charitable contribution, or if you have a membership with a charitable organization, be sure to ask them to send you only one donation request per year, or none. Click here for sample note from the American Institute of Philanthropy.  


Other junk mail reduction tips:

  • It can take several weeks up to 90 days for opt-outs to take effect.  So please be patient as you wait to see the impact of your actions and less junk mail in your mailbox.  
  • Every variation of your name can turn up on a mailing list.  So, when opting out of lists, be sure to include all those variations of your name that might come to your address.