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Are you being deluged with unwanted junk mail? Most of us are tired of seeing our mail boxes fill up with stacks of mail offering us items we would never dream of purchasing or asking us to contribute to causes we never heard of. This unwanted mail clutters our homes and costs thousands of tax dollars to process of every year.

You can recycle all your junk mail by putting it in your green recycling cart. That includes window envelopes and glossy inserts.

But, you might also wish to try to reduce the volume of junk mail you receive. You can do that several ways.

  • Follow the directions outlined by the Federal Trade Commision.

The FTC has several links and mailing addresses to the various companies responsible for pre-screened offers and direct mailings that clog your mailbox. Visit the FTC site to learn how to contact these organizations.

  • You can also:
    • Use post paid response cards and envelopes to send back junk mail. Be sure to include the mailing label and request to be removed from the mailing list.

    • Call toll free numbers on junk mail and let them know you no longer want mailings.

    • When you apply for a credit card, magazine subscription or membership in an organization, or donate to a charity, write "Please do not rent, sell, trade, or give my name to other businesses or organizations" on your application.

    • When you donate to a charity, ask them to limit future solicitations to one per year.

    • Call the office of the weekly "shopper" newspaper and ask to have delivery stopped. In Madison, contact Capital Newspapers at (608) 252-6200 or (608) 252-6236, or use their online form.

    • Have the phone company remove your name from the published phone directory. Some mailing list companies use the directory as a source of addresses.

    • Write refused on unwanted first class mail.