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Unwanted Mail

At Home
Households can significantly reduce their advertising and unwanted mail (junk mail) by taking the following simple steps:

1. Register with the Direct Marketing Association’s free Mail Preference Service.

2. Register with Catalog Choice to remove yourself from catalog mailings.

3. Download the free app PaperKarma from I-Tunes.  Simply pull out your phone and snap photos of the offending mail.  PaperKarma will figure out what it is and how to stop it.

4. The nation’s major consumer credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union – established a website to get off lists for pre-approved credit card solicitations.  Visit  You will need to provide your social security number, full name, address and telephone numbers.

The service allows you to opt out for two years or permanently.  You can "opt back in" at any time by calling the same number.

5. Contact individual mailers to be removed from distribution lists.  Not all companies use national systems.  For instance you can opt out of the Valpak mailings

Any junk mail that you DO receive can be recycled!  There’s no need to remove windows from envelopes, staples or paperclips.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has more information and resources to reduce the hail of unwanted mail.

At Work

At the Minneapolis office of a major financial services corporation, they receive more than 40,000 pieces of advertising mail every month, and discard almost 88 percent of that mail.  They dispose of more than 68 tons of unwanted mail every year.  The company estimates that it costs them more than $75,000 a year to deal with this unwanted mail. (source National Waste Prevention Coalition)

How much does it cost your business or agency to sort through the unwanted mail, and then recycle or dispose or it?  How much time does each individual employee waste handling this mail?

Here are a few ways to reduce the hail of unwanted mail:

1. Dun and Bradstreet collects information on more than 60 million business establishments.  A business may have its information removed from business marketing lists published by Dun & Bradstreet.  This "delisting" can be requested verbally or in writing by an authorized representative of the business, resulting in its removal from marketing directories, publications, and/or mailing lists.


Dun & Bradstreet Customer Service Center: 1-800-333-0505


2. The State of California has a helpful website with tips on how businesses can stop unwanted mail.

3. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has a website with many more tips and suggestions.



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