paper spam on the rise.

Dear Lazyweb,

Years ago I signed up with greendimes.com, and that worked very well for keeping the spam out of my physical mailbox, but it seems that A) they no longer exist, and B) I'm getting a lot more paper bullshit lately. I wonder if these two are related.

Anyway, is there some technique that will stop this new influx of newsprint circulars from shitheels like Safeway and Radio Shack from filling up my mailbox? (You know, the same crap that used to fill up the middle of newspapers, back when people still read newspapers.)

Likewise, is there any way to block the glossy ads from the various scumbags running for local office?

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29 Responses:

  1. ext_292827 says:

    in Canada, you can send a written letter to your local delivery hub asking to no longer recieve 'householder ad mail'. That will stop Canada Post from delivering junk, if not the other local 10-year-olds with paper routes.

  2. assbarn says:

    I've had luck with http://catalogchoice.org/.

    The two main downsides are (1) that you have to proactively ask not to receive from a certain business and (2) I've had mixed success with those stupid newsprint things. But things work pretty well for more cataloggy things.

    I am pretty sure it does not work for politicians, but I've never tried.

  3. ronaldscott says:

    Take a look at http://lifehacker.com/5648746/the-best-sites-numbers-and-forms-for-banishing-junk-mail. There are some tips there. There's no one-size-fits-all answer but it's better than nothing I guess.

  4. pmb7777 says:

    The newsprint circulars have a corporate website for the parent company. Google for unsubscribe (company name) and you'll probably find an opt-out form.

    I did this a few weeks ago and have not yet stopped getting them, but they say 8 weeks...

  5. dr_memory says:

    Likewise, is there any way to block the glossy ads from the various scumbags running for local office?

    Rotsa ruck. When the national do-not-call registry bill was passed, the fuckers carved themselves a gold-plated exception: political robocalls are allowed to phone-spam you nigh unto death. I feel very safe assuming that the same loophole exists for the printed stuff.

    • jakenelson says:

      As a long-serving part of the eldritch machine that is the American political system, I can confirm that candidates for office are exempt, to a ludicrous degree, from all those rules like "do not call", "do not mail", "no soliciting", etc., etc.

      Also, none of them in CA are organized enough to keep track of requests to not be bothered even when approached directly. If you were somewhere less insane, at least the state parties would be capable of delisting you (mostly).

    • gryazi says:

      Corollary: While a waste of trees, as a voter, do you want not to be informed of whatever idiotic thing each side is up to?

      For instance, when the still-registered-Republican in the house receives a screaming robocall from a local candidate (this was back for the primaries, I have no idea if he's on or off) that is one word shy of "Take back white America!", it influences the voting decisions.

      Also noticing that you can tell three out of four GOP mailings here in CT by the dark-industrial-skies and barbed-wire motifs (always with that broken-block-with-flecks font - what's the name of that, Linotype Mudslinging?). Libtards are sticking with the generic smiling-faces with the occasional solar panel and windmill.

  6. ladykalessia says:

    You could complain to the county Registrar of Voters about the political spam. I'm not sure that it would have any immediate result, but I do believe they collect data points.

    Edit to clarify: I'm pretty sure that the CRoV is where the politicos get your address in the first place. I know in some counties they will have different fliers for each political affiliation.

    I've also heard tales of people sticking labels on the mailbox that say "No unaddressed mail" or something similar. Theoretically this would stop you from getting things addressed to 'Resident', but I don't know how useful that would be.

    • dr_memory says:

      but I don't know how useful that would be.

      For SF/CA political solicitations, not very: the vast majority are personally addressed.

    • dan_erat says:

      The political spam situation seemed hopeless when I tried to get more details two years ago: http://dan-erat.livejournal.com/99781.html

      I'll second the earlier recommendation of CatalogChoice.org for unsubscribing from commercial mailings. I saw that they announced an additional service a few days ago:

      "Annual donors of $20 or more receive our unlisting service which proactively removes you from lists bought and sold by marketers."

      I like what they do and gave them some money; no idea yet how well it works. I've had success using the site to unsubscribe from specific catalogs and such, but it's fairly time-consuming.

  7. flikx says:

    Fill your mailbox with cement. It's the only way to be sure.

    • pikuorguk says:

      I keep my paper recycling box next to the letter box. It's a simple task of picking up the mail spam when I come home and dropping it into the box.

      It's probably not possible to prevent the leaflet spam, they don't use the postal service and instead rely on a hired goon to walk the street stuffing things into letter boxes. I suppose a vicious dog might make them not bother.

      • fallenpegasus says:

        It was my understanding that it is illegal for anyone other than the USPS guy to put stuff in your USPS mailbox.

        • asan102 says:

          It is my understand that no one anywhere gives a flying fuck about this law, unless you count occasionally stuffing the shit in your screen door instead of the mailbox as an acceptable response.

        • pikuorguk says:

          Oh, I live in the UK where letterboxes are just slots in our front doors that anyone can shove anything through.

          I have enough pizza and cheap burger leaflets that I could eat out every night of the week and not go somewhere twice for at least a month. And then when I'm done I can sell all my gold for cash and work a part time job from home.

      • belgand says:

        I've been toying with labeling mine "Resident".

  8. jkow says:

    Tell the scumbags you'll vote for them if they stop filling up your mailbox. Also, tell them you'll vote for them, if they pass a law that forbids mailbox spam.

  9. uloixia says:

    IF you have plenty of time and nothing better to do, you can file a petition with the Post Office, citing the offensive material as porn. Apparently, the PO can't judge what you consider to be porn, so it will simply send a cease and desist letter to whomever you file it against, even if all you sent out was a postcard regarding your patent paralegal business. So basically if I send this one guy one more postcard (we do mailings once every 18 months), I have to pay like $1000 or something dumb like that. It might be interesting to try against someone like the Church of Scientology who keeps sending mail even though I've told them I'm dead....

    • neoteny says:

      I like the idea of pitting one bureaucracy against another for amusement purposes.

  10. dormando says:

    http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/09/how-to-opt-out-of-unwanted-junk-in-the-snail-mail.ars
    ^ I'm about to try the stuff in here. yes that means I haven't tried it yet (but it cites some of the same stuff others have said already).

    stupid junk mail.

  11. terpsichoros says:

    I bitched at the post office about the newsprint junk mail I was receiving in my PO Box (which I check only when I'm expecting rent checks), and they had a preprinted half-sheet flyer with the name, phone number, mailing address, and website of the company which does most of the newsprint junk mail around here. After contacting them, I don't have a PO Box full of junk mail, even when it's been four weeks since I last checked it.

  12. Joe says:

    Try this: http://www.obviously.com/junkmail/

    I used the tips on that page and just about everything went away including previous residents.

  13. shandrew says:

    Have it all scanned into electronic spam that you can filter:

    http://www.earthclassmail.com/