Junk Mail Reduction

This information has been compiled by the Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction Program at MDEQ to help remove your name from unwanted mail and telemarketing lists.

Junk mail uses valuable natural resources and contributes to pollution and litter problems. Examples include:

  • 65 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water are used annually in the production of junk mail.
  • The average American receives more than 500 pieces of junk mail each year. That comes out to 30 pounds of mail for every American or one tree per household annually. Much of this mail goes unopened and then to our landfills.

Junk mail that contains credit card applications and other confidential materials can lead to identity theft which can take years to correct and potentially rob you of hundreds if not thousands of dollars from your bank and other financial accounts. This is a real concern.

Start eliminating the sources of junk mail today! Don’t just recycle it once it gets to your home, stop it from its origins. You can do something about it!

How did I get on all these mailing lists in the first place?

Every time you provide your name and address or phone number to receive a product or service, to register for a prize or sweepstakes, there’s a good chance you are being added to one or more mailing lists. When you buy a car, have a baby, give money to a charity or fill out a product registration or warranty card, your name will likely be entered into a computer database. When you subscribe to a “garden” magazine or a “clothing” catalog, you may find that now you are starting to get junk mail that has to do with gardening and clothing from other companies.

How do I get off these lists?
Follow the suggestions below and you can eliminate as much as 80% of the junk mail coming to your home as well as reduce the quantity of telemarketing calls you receive.

Mississippi No Call Telemarketing List – Telemarketing calls can be reduced by going to the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s website and applying for placement on the No Call Telemarketing List that has been established for residents of the state. Information on the following pages can additionally assist residents in removal from various telemarketing lists.

National No Call Telemarketing List – To sign up for the national telemarketing no call list go to the following website.

Contact each of the companies at the bottom of this page and request to be removed from their database or placed on their suppress file list. You’ll need to provide them the many variations of your name and address when contacting them. As you’ll see, we have already developed the letters to each of the companies which will save you the time and effort.

One call will remove your name from the four major credit bureaus in the United States – Equifax, Trans Union and Experian and Innovis. The majority of the unsolicited credit card applications that you receive weekly will come to an end with this one call. The number you need to call is 1-888-5 OPTOUT (888/567-8688).

For eliminating the mailings of catalogs, call the “800” number provided on the catalog or other bulk mailings to request your name to be removed from their mailing list. For catalogs that you wish to continue receiving, you can request to be placed on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual mailing rather than the monthly mailings. In addition, when applying for a catalog or joining some organization, specifically state on the information form that you do not want your name/address sold to any mailing lists. They will generally honor this request.

Avoid giving your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to businesses if all possible. They may use the information to put you on another mailing list and will often sell it to other bulk mailers. For example: If you’re at the local electronics store making a purchase and the cashier asks you for your phone number, politely decline. Your phone number can quickly be used to determine your mailing address and then you’ll be on a mailing list for that store. Just say no!

Do not fill-out warranty cards for any consumer product. Warranty cards are solely a means of gathering names for direct mail lists. You are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty whether the card is returned or not. That is why most products have a serial number.

When you order personal checks, consider leaving off your telephone number. Companies sell lists gleaned from the name and numbers on customers’ checks.

Fill in and return opt-out privacy cards from financial organizations. Financial organizations are now required to provide customers with opt-out privacy cards so you can request that your name be removed from their bulk mailing lists.

To stop receiving Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes offerings call 800/645-9242.

To stop receiving American Family Sweepstakes offerings call 800/237-2400.

To stop local business and supermarket flyers call the following numbers:

ADVO (mail comes with pictures of missing children) at 860/285-6100 (click on “Contacts” then under Customer Support click on “Download” then print out form to be submitted to ADVO for removal from mailing list)

Val-Pak Coupons at 800/676-6878 (click on “Contact Us” then on the e-mail address for Remove Your Name from Our Mailing List). Request them to remove you from their mailing list by providing them with your name and address as it appears on the back of the catalog.

Carol Wright at 800/67-TARGET (click on “Contact Us” then under Electronic Mail click on the e-mail address for Customer Service). Request from Customer Services to be removed from their mailing list by providing them with your name, address and account number as it appears on the back of the catalog. Your account number is in the pick box.

How do I stop mail addressed to former residents or a former spouse or roommate?
Start by sending a postcard or letter to DMA Mail Preference Service at P. O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. Request that they activate the mail preference service and include the name, address and zip code.

First class and some bulk mail: In the event that your former spouse or roommate neglected to fill out a Post Office Change of Address Card, or it has expired, you can fill one out for them and submit it to the Post Office. You will need to fill out one card for each unique last name. Write on the card “Moved, Left no forwarding address” in the new address area of the address card. You should then sign your name with a note stating “Form filled in by current resident of the house, “your name”, agent for the above.” Do not stray from this language or it may not get done. Then hand this form directly to your U.S. Postal carrier. The form will be approved and the information entered into their database.

Companies to Contact for Removal from Lists
Contact each of the companies below to begin the process of removing your name from national mailing lists. The results will be less junk mail coming to your home. The Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction Program at MDEQ has pre-prepared form letters to several of the companies below which you can printout and complete. Click on Junk Mail Form Letters to view these form letters. There are eleven (11) letters that you can print-out and mail back to begin the Junk Mail reduction process. You can also write your own letters to the companies at the addresses as shown.

Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P. O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

Equifax Options
Equifax Marketing Decisions Systems
P. O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

Trans Union
555 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661

Targeting Marketing Services Division
701 TRW Parkway
Allen, TX 75002

R. L. Polk & Company
1621 18th Str. #300
Denver, CO 80202

Donnelly Marketing
1235 North Avenue
Nevada, IA 50201

MetroMail Corporation
901 West Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521

Haines and Company
Criss-Cross Directory
2382 East Walnut Avenue East
Fullerton, CA 92631

American Direct Mail Partners
5801 East 41st Street, Suite 305
Tulsa, OK 74135-5601

Database America
Compilation Department
100 Paragon Drive
Montavale, NJ 07645-0419

Advo Inc.
Director of List Maintenance
239 West Service Road
Hartford, CT 06120

Hart Hanks Direct Marketing
List Maintenance
6701 Daymeadow Drive, Suite D
Glen Burnie, MD 21060-6401

Money Mailer
14271 Corporate Drive
Garden Grove, CA 92643-4994

Mail Preference Service
C/O Direct Marketing Association
P. O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
(Eliminates some telephone marketing)