A reader named Tolak asked a great question in response to my post about protecting your privacy:
I’m still looking for an effective way to stop the postal service from delivering any unsolicited mailing addressed to “Current Resident”. Safeway and local businesses work directly with the local postal service in some way I haven’t yet been able to get information on. I called USPS and they referred me to the Mail Preference Service listed above, but that service advises that it has limited applicability to local businesses and that I may have to contact each company directly.
I’m afraid that I don’t know of a simple way of doing this myself. However, I was reading The Good Human the other day when I ran across a link to an interesting service that purports to slay the junk mail beast. It’s called 41pounds.org, with the name coming from the amount of junk mail that the average American receives.
In their FAQs they state the following in response to the question “Do I have other options?”:
There are other companies out there that advertise similar services. If you read the fine print; most will tell you they will not stop mail addressed to â€œOccupantâ€ or â€œResidentâ€ (this included Penny Savers, ValPak, etcâ€¦). Also they do not contact catalog distributors or other bulk mailers that are not members of the DMA (including most credit card offers). Our goal is to remove you from these lists; as â€œOccupantâ€ and â€œResidentâ€ mailings are responsible for the majority of what you are trying to eliminate.
In short, they send you a packet of pre-addressed, pre-stamped postcards that you sign and mail. These postcards direct the biggest junk mail offenders to remove your address from their mailing lists. They will also contact any catalog companies that you specify asking them to remove you from their mailing lists.
So there you have it… The service costs $41, and is supposedly effective for five years.