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Austin, Texas Launches Anti-Junk Mail Program

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hate that junk mail clogging your box? The Resource Recovery program in Austin, Texas has a new service that lets residents say no to bulk mail they don’t want. And there are ways you can accomplish the same thing wherever you live.

Through the Catalog Choice program, residents will be able to opt-out of receiving unwanted phone books, catalogs, coupons and credit card solicitations at no cost. Within 90 days of a request, account holders are supposed to stop receiving the unwanted mail.

“This is a great step for consumer choice, consumer protection, and takes us closer to our Zero Waste goals. I have heard from many citizens that no longer use phone books, but have no opportunity to stop receiving them. This solution will help stop not only the delivery of unwanted phone books, but also junk mail and credit card offers to our mailboxes and doorsteps,” said Council Member Mike Martinez.

The Catalog Choice service is part of Austin’s efforts to reach zero waste by 2040 or sooner, which would reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90 percent.

Austin is one of several cities partnering with Catalog Choice. According to the service’s website, 20 million opt-outs by over 1.4 million account holders have already been processed since its launch in 2007.

Austin is one of many cities partnering with Catalog Choice to reduce waste. Catalog Choice connects 1.5 million consumers nationwide with 4,200 direct mail companies to fine-tune mailing lists. Registering for Catalog Choice is free. Users need only provide an email address and the address where they would like to stop receiving unwanted mail. Once registered, users have access to an alphabetized company directory that allows mail opt out.

More than 100 billion pieces of unsolicited mail are received by Americans each year, according to a statement by the city of Austin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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