Residents Seek Ways to Cut Down on Junk Mail
COLUMBIA - Alan and Rose Whittington are no strangers to junk mail. They have lived in Columbia for nearly a decade and are tired of advertisements, credit card promos and flyers clogging up their mailbox.
And all that junk mail from the Whittington household goes straight to the trash.
"I pick up my mail, and there's a lot of junk mail," Rose Whittington said. "But when I get it, I just throw it away."
Layli Terrill with Columbia Public Works estimates about one-third of Columbians actually recycle.
But besides recycling junk mail, there are other ways to go green.
By visiting OptOutPreScreen.com, you can choose not to receive advertisements from credit card companies.
Terrill said you can also visit DMAchoice.org to choose what mail you want to receive from the Direct Marketing Association. It is responsible for about 80 percent of all direct mail advertising sent in the United States.
For that other 20 percent of advertising, mail recipients can always write back to companies that sent the junk mail. Some even use the enclosed prepaid envelopes to send those letters.
Howard Hutton with the USPS Walnut Street branch said people have done some crazy things to stop junk mail--everything from rubber-banding mailboxes shut to putting rattlesnakes inside.
While those aren't the most practical ways to cut down on ads, the Federal Trade Commission has some more helpful tips here.