California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Waste Prevention World

You Can Reduce Unwanted Mail

How do I get off the mailing lists?

To reduce the amount of junk mail coming to your home, do these three things:

  1. Register with DMA for the MPS Service.
  2. Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) can be used to remove your name from some junk mailing lists. There are two ways to register for the MPS:

    • Submit information online.
    • Fill in, print, and mail a form to DMA, along with a check for $1.00.
  3. Register with Valassis every five years, and whenever you move.
  4. Valassis’website states they are a national top 10 direct mail printer, delivering 10 billion US media impressions annually, and 15,000 advertiser relationships worldwide. There are two ways to remove your name and address from the Valassis list for five years, or whenever you move:

    • Fill out the Valassis web form.
    • Call Valassis’ Consumer Assistance Line toll-free at 1-800-437-0479.
  5. Register with Catalog Choice to reduce unwanted catalog mailings.
  6. Catalog Choice provides a free service that reduces duplicate and unsolicited catalog mailings. Consumers list undesired catalogs, and businesses receive the list. Use the online form to remove your name from the catalog mailing lists.

Notify mailing list brokers.
Some companies specialize in collecting and selling mailing lists. Write or call these companies and ask to be placed in their "suppress" files:

  • Donnelley Marketing, Inc.
    470 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
    Woodcliff , NJ 07677
    (800) 223-7777
  • Donnelley Marketing, Inc.
    Data Base Operations
    416 South Bell
    Aimes, IA 50010
    (888) 633-4402
  • Experian
    List Maintenance
    901 West Bond
    Lincoln, NE 68521
    (800) 228-4571

Return junk mail stamped "address correction requested" or "return postage guaranteed."
Return junk mail unopened to the sender by writing "Refused. Return to sender." on the envelope. Without this special notation; the post office will not return the mail to the sender.

Call mail order catalog companies.
Most catalogs provide an 800 telephone number for placing an order; call this number and ask to be taken off their mailing list.

Contact specific organizations or businesses.
If you receive unwanted flyers or mail, call the customer service department of the organization or business responsible and request that your name be removed from their mailing list. Alternatively, send in a written request that is signed and dated. Include a sample of the mailing label so the sender can identify how you are listed in their files.

Contact credit bureaus.
Credit bureaus may sell names and addresses to banks and credit card companies. You can now contact Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian by calling a single toll-free number: (888) 5-OPT-OUT or (888) 567-8688. There is also a fourth credit reporting agency, Innovis, which receives this information.

Don't forget to recycle the junk mail you do receive.

Special thanks! Material in this fact sheet was adopted from "How to reduce junk mail" by Kings County Solid Waste Division, 1994 and "Junk Mail Reduction Kit" by City of Palo Alto Recycling Program.

Waste Prevention and Recycling at Home

Last updated: April 4, 2013
Waste Reduction: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/ReduceWaste/
Waste Prevention Information Exchange: wpinfoex@calrecycle.ca.gov