Feb 7 - CA Communities Targeting Junk Mail

Share Some Southern California cities are making it easier for their residents to opt out of receiving junk mail. According to Waste & Recycling News, Pasadena, Redlands, Santa Monica, and Costa Mesa Sanitary District have partnered with Berkley, Calif.-based nonprofit group Catalog Choice to provide customized mail preference programs for the communities´ combined 125,000 households, according to a news release.

According to Chuck Teller, executive director for Catalog Choice,"Americans receive more than 85 billion pieces of unsolicited mail, creating nearly 10 billion pounds of solid waste, a large portion of which is unwanted and does not get recycled. Eliminating unwanted mail saves municipalities money since they bear the burden of paying up to $10 per household to collect and dispose of the waste."

Each community has a website through Catalog Choice where residents can sign up to opt-out of unwanted catalogs, phone books, coupons, circulars, credit card offers and donation solicitations, etc.

The program has proven to be effective - communities that use the program will stop five times more unsolicited mail at the source than other U.S. cities. Catalog Choice is currently serving other cities like Seattle, Chicago and San Jose.

The Federal Trade Commission also provides some additional resources to stop unsolicited mail and telemarketing:

For telemarketer:
The federal government's National Do Not Call Registry is a free, easy way to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register your phone number or to get information about the registry, visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register. You will get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering your number. Telephone numbers on the registry will only be removed when they are disconnected and reassigned, or when you choose to remove a number from the registry.

For Junk mail:

If you decide that you don't want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance,

  • To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
  • To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.

Direct Marketing Association

The Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a "delete" file and made available to direct-mail marketers and organizations. This will reduce most of your unsolicited mail. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA's Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA's Mail Preference Service, go to www.dmachoice.org, or mail your request with a $1 processing fee to:

Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

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