Opt out of receiving junk mail

junkmail.jpgI often grumble about the amount of junk mail that pours through my letter box and wish I could nuke it like I do the spam that comes through my email inbox. The waste of paper is just obscene. I glare especially hard at junk mail delivery people when I see them shoving their junk mail into mail boxes with "no junk mail" stickers on them. I thought there was nothing to be done about junk mail - but I was wrong!
The Australian Catalogue Association has a code of conduct saying members and their deliverers will not deliver materials to addresses displaying a "No Advertising Material" sign. This appears to be a voluntary code of conduct, but there's a fairly long list of companies signed up to abide by it. The signees also agree not to litter or deliver when the mailbox is overflowing!
You can contact the Distribution Standards Board to add your address to the "do not deliver" list. They'll also provide you with a free reflective No Advertising Material sticker. Mail a stamped, self addressed envelope to:
DSB Sticker, PO Box 7735, St Kilda Rd, Melbourne Vic 8004.
Note that this won't stop all unsolicited mail - newspapers are exempted, along with political pamphlets.
The DSB also provides a hotline for consumers to report illegal or irresponsible distribution practices. It is 1800 676 136.
I am signing up today!
Thanks for the tip, Mary!


    I used to live in an apartment complex that had a -massive- problem with junk mail. No amount of 'No Junk Mail' signs would deter those snail-mail spammers.

    I moved recently. Still, I might call up in an attempt to save the new owners the pain of an overflowing mailbox.

    I just wanted to say that I've worked with the DSB on this issue in the past and by and large, this approach works. The DSB and the industry (essentially just PMP and Salmat) take this seriously as it wastes their time and money (not to mention that of their clients as well) delivering product to people who don't want it and will never read it.

    Personally, I love my junk mail (how else will I find out when the latest gadgets are on sale?) and just dump it all in the recycling when I'm done. The shiny pages and pretty pictures also keep my little toddler entertained as well!

    @Dee, when that happens, call the DSB and complain. If I remember correctly, there is a "two strikes and you're out" policy for delivery staff (at least, it used to be the case).

    The only problem is that about 2-3% of the industry are "private operators" who don't work under the code of conduct (real estate agents are the worst). Not much can be done at all there.

    While I can't speak for recent trends - I know when I was a pizza shop flunky in highschool ('97/'98) - I had to deliver a set number of those stupid vouchers - every time I paid attention to a no junkmail sign I had to walk another house further - There was no way I was going to walk by 1 house in every 3 and get chewed out by my boss for taking so long, even though they weren't going to pay me any extra.

    My experience with the pizza vouchers was also that people with no junk mail signs were just as likely to phone in an order as people without one.

    That said, at my house, we typically get a 2 inch thick roll of junkmail daily, in addition to a free newspaper - both of which go directly into the recycling... unless the outermost flyer is for gadgets - then maybe I'll look for a minute

    I know, I know, I'm part of the problem

    For the record, I deliver junkmail, and I was just discussing this with my friends. Personally, I have no problem ignoring houses that don't want junkmail. I reckon it's heaps easier for me - less catalogues that I have to carry per street. We get a set amount every week for the route that we deliver, and even if a third of those houses are "no junk" houses, we still get paid for them. I also tend to stick to a "two deliveries or less" policy - if there are more than two lots of junkmail in a mailbox, I don't put my lot in. It's too painful getting the stuff into the box, and I can't imagine how horrible it must be for the person getting the junkmail out.

    Anyways, just thought I'd show the other side of the junkmail scenario - not everyone that delivers is out to break the conduct rules or clog up your mailbox. :]

    I've just started delivering junk mail, and as a journalist student I can't help thinking there is an article in this. There are problems with overflowing mail boxes, that's for sure. I like the "no junk mail" labels because that means less catalogues to deliver. Also because I've been running out of them before I get finished! I would love to read more comments about this.

    One alternative to the growing problem of junk mail is to use digital catalogue sites such as http://www.lasoo.com.au
    Lasoo also distributes Autralian retail catalogues via the iPhone http://www.lasoo.com.au/lasoo-iphone-app.html and the iPad http://www.lasoo.com.au/lasoo-ipad-app.html

    Here's a campaign to put a stop to this. https://www.facebook.com/NoJunkMailReadTheSign

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