How to Reduce Your Junk Mail - For Residents

Reduce Your Junk: Stop Unsolicited Mail, Spam, and Telemarketers

Junk mail is a waste of time and resources. The average American household receives 1.5 trees through the mail slot in the form of unsolicited mail every year. That adds up to over 100 million trees annually. In addition, Americans collectively pay $370,000,000 a year to dispose the junk mail that doesn't get recycled.

But there is good news! You can get rid of 90% of that junk mail much easier than you might think.

In order to substantially reduce your junk mail, you need to reduce access to your name and address so that it won't be traded, rented, or sold to companies who send you unwanted mail. Follow the steps below, or use our County of San Diego Junk Mail Reduction Kit (pdf) and you can help keep junk mail from finding its way to your doorstep.


The following activities often lead to increases in your junk mail load:

·         Entering sweepstakes or contests

·         Filling out warranty cards

·         Donating to charity organizations

·         Registering at meetings or conferences

·         Having your address listed in a publication

·         Ordering from a catalog

·         Signing up for a service (car insurance, health care, etc.)

·         Having a credit card

Steps to follow in order to reduce the amount of Junk Mail you receive:

  1. Register at to be placed on the National Do Not Mail List and be removed from direct mailer registries.
  2. Eqiufax / Trans Union / Experian are the three national credit reporting agencies in the United States.  To permanently opt out from receiving credit and insurance offers, remove your name from their mailing list at, or send a written a request to each agency.
  3. Remove your name from specific catalog lists by visiting to monitor your                   unwanted/wanted catalogs.
  4. Choose not to receive automatic phonebook deliveries at Yellow Pages Opt-Out.
  5. To reduce junk mail even further, you can contact companies directly. Ask them to remove your name       from their mailing lists or tell them not to sell your name or send promotional materials.

How to get off Spam Email Listings:

  1. Use an email filter to divert spam emails to another folder.
  2. Limit your exposure to spam by using two email addresses: one for personal use, one for shopping and     other services.

How to Stop Getting Telemarketing Calls:

Register your name and phone number through the National Do Not Call Registry

The information that appears here was put together by 1-877-STOPWASTE (786-7927), and the Federal Trade Commission.