10 February 2010

Northamptonshire County Council is asking residents to say no to unwanted promotional junk mail and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

The advice comes after recent reports of an increase in the distribution of promotional materials as the nation moves out of recession.

In the UK it is estimated that 500,000 tonnes of paper are used for junk mail every year and about 90 per cent of this is thrown straight into the bin. It is also estimated that every person in Northamptonshire receives 4kg of junk mail annually.

To cut down on the amount of junk mail received, people can sign up to the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), a free service which will removes addresses from 95 per cent of all direct mailing lists. This will prevent advertising and marketing companies from sending unwanted mail although unfortunately, the service cannot stop unwanted mail from abroad or mail addressed to ‘the occupier’.

The Mailing Preference Service can also remove an individual name from a direct mailing list, for example some people may wish to have a relative’s name removed after they have died. The service can also be used to stop any junk mail addressed to previous occupants of the house being delivered.

Those who still wish to receive post from direct mailing companies should make sure that they recycle the information when they’ve finished with it.

Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for environment, growth and transport, said: “With an estimated 500,000 tonnes of paper used for promotions every year, equating to more than eight million trees, it’s obviously important to take action to reduce the amount of junk mail we all receive.

“Much of the direct mail received might turn out to be useful but it’s more than likely that most of it will end up as rubbish in the bin. We can take control of what we receive by registering with the Mailing Preference Service and making sure any junk mail received is recycled and doesn’t end up in a landfill site.”

Other ways of reducing junk mail include putting up a notice stating that no leaflets or free papers should be delivered and also opting for online banking and billing as most companies now offer paperless communication.

For advice about recycling contact the county council’s waste management team on 01604 237440 or to register on the Mailing Preference Service visit www.mpsonline.org.uk or telephone 0845 703 4599.