Junk Mail

Envelope with Window

Glossy Paper and Plastic Windows OK

All paper products, including glossy paper, are recyclable. It is ideal to remove plastic windows from envelopes before recycling them, but it’s OK if you don’t.

credit card

Remove Credit Cards and Address Labels

Remove any plastic credit cards or sheets of address labels and throw them away before recycling the envelope and contents it came with. These will contaminate paper recycling.

shredded paper

Don't Recycle Shredded Paper

If you shred any junk mail to protect personal information, the paper can no longer be recycled because it will be too small. Find out how to dispose of shredded paper.


Keep Paper Dry

If paper products get wet, their fibers become damaged so that they are no longer recyclable. Store them so that they stay dry until they are recycled.

Ways to Reduce

DMA logo

Stop Generic Junk Mail

First, register with the Direct Marketing Association to remove your name from most mailing lists for five years (for a $2 processing fee). Second, register with Valassis, a top 10 national direct mail printer, to stop receiving its mailings for five years, or whenever you next move.

Get Off Mailing Lists

If you receive mail from companies you’ve purchased from, use Catalog Choice or the free app PaperKarma to request specific senders to cease mailings.


Stop Credit Cards & Valpak Coupons

Opt out of prescreened credit card and insurance offers from major credit bureaus online or by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). To stop receiving Valpak coupons, fill out this form.

Reduce the Mail You Receive

Request e-statements and e-bills whenever possible to cut down on the amount of paper mail you receive. If you donate to any charities, ask them to limit donation requests to once a year.

Ways to Reuse

Use Envelopes More Than Once

As much as possible, try to use envelopes more than once before disposing of them. You can cover old addresses with labels or cross them out if you need to.

Craft With Junk Mail

Junk mail can be used for lots of different crafts, from making pocket notebooks and stationary to origami and gift wrap. Find more ideas here.