Recycling Tips: How to Stop Junk Mail For Good!

Recycling Tips: How to Stop Junk Mail For Good!

  • Editor’s Note: This article was written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. You can reach her at 630-208-3841 or

Q: Hey, Jennifer Jarland! I hate junk mail! How do I stop it from flooding my mailbox?

A: Great question! I also used to get a lot, but then I learned how to stop junk mail for good!

So much advertising is printed on virgin paper (made directly from trees), and so much of it is never even looked at before being pitched in the recycling, or possibly even the trash. What a waste!

You too can eliminate junk mail from your life, and help save the trees and other resources wasted through the distribution and disposal of such materials.

The key to stopping unwanted advertising mail being delivered to your home is to get your name off of the mailing lists. But there are so many lists! Where to start?

The best way to get started — ironically — is to add your name to one very important list: the National Do Not Mail List. Doing this will reduce your junk mail by half almost immediately. If you just do this you have made a huge difference. It takes two minutes on the computer!

National Do Not Mail List

This list is really handy, because you can choose to not receive any special offers in the mail — or you can pick and choose what categories of mail you might still want.

For example, maybe you want to receive charitable requests for environmental causes but don’t want to receive special offers for magazine subscriptions. You can do that with a couple quick clicks of the mouse.

You can also unsubscribe from phonebook and catalog distribution lists via the below links.

Opt Out of Phone Books

Stop Catalog Mailings

To eliminate the remainder of your unwanted junk mail, call the junk-mail distributor directly, as you receive each piece, and ask to be removed from their mailing list. That’s what I do, and the results have been amazing.

Also keep this in mind when filling out forms: I write “no paper mail” next to my home address in such cases, and it seems to work.

You can do it! Stop junk mail for good! And along the way, you’ll reduce our waste stream, save taxpayer dollars and do something to help the environment.

More recycling information can be found at

Got questions? Contact Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland at 630-208-3841 or