You can Slow Down the Flow of Junk Mail

If you find the inflow of junk mail irritating, you’ve got good reason.  EcoCycle estimates that we spend as much as 8 months of our lives sorting through the 41 pounds of it we receive each year.  Fully 62% of the mail delivered by the Post Office is direct mail.  That’s 63 billion pieces of mail which not only inconveniences us, it’s bad for the environment – cutting down 80-100 million trees to make the paper and generating greenhouse gases.  Why do we receive so much?  Because it’s more effective than email, social media, or digital display ads at getting you to spend your money.  It also costs cities $1 billion of your taxes to dispose of it every year. 

So, what can you do? 

One option to reducing junk mail is to use  The cost is $4 per year and estimates to be able to reduce junk mail by 80%. You can also opt out the names of the deceased and opt out of email appeals. is a non-profit that has compiled a list of 10,000 organizations – both for- and non-profit.  You can register with them for free and automatically send opt-out requests to the companies you want to stop hearing from. 

How to Dispose of Direct Mailers

In San Jose, direct mail flyers can go in the recycling cart.  

Because political speech is protected by the first amendment, you will continue to get political mailers as well as those addressed to “Current Resident.”  But using these tools will help you avoid wasting time managing these mailers for years to come.