Before I took all the steps below, I used to collect the contents of our letterbox, walk back into the house and throw it all in the recycle bin without ever opening it. The waste dumped in my letterbox used to annoy me so much, but now we rarely receive anything at all (birthday cards from Nanna and electoral commission information). Here’s how you can do it too.
Stop unaddressed mail
Place a ‘No Junk Mail’ or ‘Addressed Mail Only’ sign or sticker on your letterbox to stop receiving catalogues and other unaddressed mail. Australia Post delivery officers are instructed not to deliver unaddressed mail to letterboxes with this signage but be aware that Australia Post only delivers about 10 per cent of unaddressed mail to Australian households. There’s no guarantee that other unaddressed mail delivery companies will do the same. Also note that political, educational, religious and charitable material is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards developed by the Australian Catalogue Association.
Stop receiving the yellow & white pages
If you’ve ever wondered how to stop receiving the yellow pages, then Directory Select is where you need to go. It’s a super quick process but it’s based on your address, so if you move house you will have to do it again and if you move to a house where it was cancelled and want to receive it, you can fix that up here too.
Stop addressed promotional mail
Registering on the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising’s (ADMA) ‘Do Not Mail’ register will stop mail from the 500 business members from reaching you. Members include banks, insurance companies, publishers, catalogue and mail order companies and charities who contact consumers via: mail, telephone, direct response television, the internet and mobile phones. It won’t stop mail from non-member companies, so you will need to contact those businesses directly to tell them to take your name off their mailing list.
Get bills electronically
Visit your billing company’s websites and signup for electronic bills. Alternatively, you can register your bills with BPAY View to receive, pay and store your bills in your online banking, or use MyPost Digital Mailbox, an Australia Post service that allows you to redirect paper mail to your electronic portal.
If you really love catalogues
If you really love looking through catalogues, register with online catalogue portals such as Lasoo Online Catalogues or Catalogue Central to receive only the advertising material you want. Alternatively you can visit retailers own websites to receive store and brand catalogues online.
Report irresponsible distribution of junk mail
Report any junk mail which is littered, delivered in duplicate or delivered to a letterbox with a ‘No Advertising Material’ sticker on it. Report offenders to the Distribution Standards Board (DBS), the self-regulatory arm of the Australian Catalogue Association, which represents about 90 per cent of all unaddressed advertising catalogues, on 1800 676 136. However, a lot of the unwanted junk mail come from the 10 per cent of businesses who are non-members like local pizza joints, estate agents and other local businesses. Contact the business directly and politely inform them that your sticker has been ignored.