Have you ever got a pile of junk mail in your mailbox and wondered what you should do with the big stack of useless paper? Junk mail is one of the major annoyances of modern life, and getting rid of it is an ongoing frustration.
You can throw junk mail in the recycle bin as long as it does not contain any personal information, such as your name or address. Mail that does should have this removed before it is recycled to protect your privacy, but true junk mail will not have this on it.
Can You Just Throw Away Junk Mail?
You can throw junk mail away, yes. There are situations in which you shouldn’t throw mail away, such as when the mail is intended for someone else but has accidentally ended up at your home.
In these cases, throwing the mail away is a criminal offense because it counts as tampering with mail, and you could theoretically get into trouble for doing so.
However, junk mail does not require you to do anything with it besides recycling it. You can safely place it in the recycling bin as soon as you take it from the mailbox, and some people don’t even bother to carry it into the house first.
Junk mail occurs because some companies print large amounts of advertising, and there is no issue with simply throwing this away if you don’t want it.
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Is It Safe To Throw Away Junk Mail?
Yes, it should be safe to throw away true junk mail. However, you should note that there is a distinction between junk mail and some kinds of advertising because some advertising will contain your name and address.
Many people count this as junk mail if it is unsolicited and sales-related, but it is not junk mail in the same sense; it is just unwanted.
If you receive mail that has your name and address printed on it, you may wish to remove this information before you recycle the mail.
You can then shred your name and address or cut it up and discard the pieces in different bins to reduce the risk of identity theft. While this may be annoying, it can help to protect your privacy.
Always check whether junk mail contains an address before you put it in the recycling bin, and tear it off if it does.
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What Are The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Junk Mail?
There are many ways to get rid of junk mail, and you don’t always have to recycle it.
1. Shred it
If the paper is plain and doesn’t contain bright colors, consider shredding it and adding it to a home compost bin as “browns” to help balance out your green waste.
If the paper has lots of ink printed on it, you may not want to do this.
2. Burn it
You can also use junk mail for lighting fires or for fueling fires, although it is again best to avoid heavily inked pages for this.
Alternatively, use junk mail with a plain side as notepaper, or screw it up inside parcels to serve as padding instead of bubble wrap.
3. Use it as pet bedding
Furthermore, you can use low-ink junk mail in the cages of small animals (e.g. gerbils) as a toy, or even fold it up into little origami plant pots for seedlings.
4. Recycle it
You can simply put your junk mail into a recycling bin.
If you receive plastic in your junk mail, it will need to be thrown in the general waste bin, not the recycling bin.
How To Stop Receiving Junk Mail?
For those who want to stop junk mail, sometimes calling the sender directly and requesting no more mail from them will work.
In other instances, you might need to call Valassis, which is one of the biggest companies for delivering junk mail, and request to be removed from their list for five years.
In many instances, you cannot stop junk mail, even if you put up a sign on your mailbox.
You will probably only be able to reduce it by contacting companies, refusing leaflets when you can, and getting yourself off as many mailing lists as possible.
Related Post: What To Do If You Received Someone Else’s Mail?
Junk mail is an annoying thing to find in your mailbox, and unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do to prevent it from turning up there. However, it is safe to recycle it as long as you remove any personal information first.
Martha had a chance to work for such major companies as USPS and FedEx, where she gained a lot of experience and learned quite a few nuances when it comes to handling mail and packages. Now she is a freelance writer who specializes in the logistics industry.