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Public Works

Stop Junk Mail – Here’s How
Junk mail is a waste. It is a huge waste of natural resources and your time. Sure, you can recycle junk mail, but it is even better to stop getting it.

The average American home receives 1.5 trees in their mailbox in the form of unsolicited mail every year. That adds up to over 100 million trees cut down and over 28 billion gallons of water consumed to produce one year’s worth of this country’s junk mail.

And if you’re concerned about global warming, those 100 million trees would be sufficient to offset the greenhouse gasses released by every personal vehicle registered in San Francisco—three times over! You can take action to stop this waste and help fight global warming. It’s much easier than you think.

Go online and download a FREE Stop Junk Mail Kit


The Stop Junk Mail Kit shows you how to get off junk mailing lists and keep new junk mail from finding its way to your mailbox. The Kit also provides other important information on how to ensure that your name and address don’t get traded, rented, or sold to companies who send you unwanted mail.

The Stop Junk Mail Kit outlines things you can do to stop junk mail:

  1. Fill out and mail two preprinted postcards included in the Kit (addressed to the top two mailing houses) requesting your name be taken off mailing lists.
  2. Tell companies you are currently doing business with, not to sell your name.
  3. Call 800 phone numbers of the four top Credit Card, Computer Disk, Sweepstakes and Shopping Flyer companies to call and request to be taken off mailing lists.
  4. Use sample letter to send to catalog companies to request to be taken off mailing list.
  5. Reminder to write on the bottom of donation checks and mail orders – “Do Not Sell My Name.”

Bay Area cities, counties and businesses are working together with The Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition (BayROC), to save our national resources by sponsoring The “Junk Mail Reduction Campaign.” The campaign consists of radio commercials, public service announcements, articles in local and regional newspapers and newsletters, all asking Bay Area residents and businesses to make a special effort to help reduce the amount of junk mail that comes to their homes and offices.

Learn more about reducing the amount of junk mail by visiting

 You Can Opt Out of Yellow Pages

According to, 540 million phone books are distributed each year, which is enough to wrap the planet 4.28 times. They also say that by recycling only 500 phone books, consumers can save:

  • Between 17 and 31 trees
  • 7,000 gallons of water
  • 463 gallons of oil
  • 587 pounds of carbon emissions
  • 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 4,077 kWh of energy

By not receiving a phone book in the first place, you can help save even more trees, resources, and energy. Click here for Yellow Pages' "Opt Out" page.

Last updated: 3/7/2014 9:52:30 AM