Junk mail


Our household waste recycling sites (‘tips’) have begun reopening to the public. However, with social distancing still necessary, the service is restricted and we encourage you to only travel to a site if absolutely necessary. Only cars are currently permitted; there are revised opening hours at some sites; and there may be lengthy queues. See Coronavirus – rubbish and recycling in East Sussex.

If you are self-isolating with possible coronavirus illness, find out how to dispose of used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths safely.

Did you know that junk mail makes up around 5% of our rubbish? Most junk mail is unwanted and thrown away unread, wasting resources and adding to rubbish disposal costs.

You can reduce the amount of junk mail you get by following our tips below.

Junk mail
Junk mail

Register with the Mailing Preference Service

Ask to have your name removed from most mailing lists in the country by registering with the Mailing Preference Service. This service is free and will help reduce addressed junk mail (but not mail from organisations you deal with directly, such as your bank). Allow four months to become fully effective.

You can also register to reduce unwanted faxes and telephone calls.

Website: Mailing Preference Service
Phone: 0845 703 4599
Email: mps@dma.org.uk

Register with Royal Mail

To stop unaddressed junk mail being delivered by Royal Mail, contact them for a registration form. The service is free and takes around six weeks to become fully effective. You will still receive mail addressed ‘To the occupier’ or similar.

Mail such as community newsletters from your local authority and delivered by Royal Mail will also be stopped, if you register. Copies of these publications are usually available from your local library or online.

Website: Royal Mail – Controlling your mail
Email: optout@royalmail.com

Councillor Lock with a letterbox sticker
Councillor Lock with a letterbox sticker

Fix a notice by your letterbox

A small notice by your letterbox saying ‘No free newspapers or circulars, thank you’ may help stop local distributors putting junk mail such as takeaway menus and free newspapers through your door, although it won’t stop Royal Mail deliveries.

For your free letterbox sticker, please telephone the County Council’s Waste Team during office hours with your postal address on 01273 482144.

Contact the sender

Contact the organisation that has sent the mail and ask them to remove your name from their mailing list. They are obliged to do this. For help on writing to organisations, visit the Information Commissioners Office.

Tell your bank or credit card company not to send you information about their services or share your details with others.

Return to sender

If there is a return address, you can send junk mail back unopened and unstamped to the organisation that sent it to you. Write ‘Return to sender – please remove name from mailing list’ on the envelope.

Be careful when giving out your details

When completing forms and questionnaires or giving out your details over the telephone, remember to state that you are not interested in receiving future marketing material. If not, your name and address may be added to a mailing lists or passed to a third party, resulting in more junk mail.

Registering to vote

When you fill out your annual electoral registration form, choose for your details not to be added to the ‘edited voting register’ (which can be bought by companies who use the details for marketing purposes/sending junk mail).

Register with Yellow Pages

To stop receiving future copies of the Yellow Pages directory, contact Yellow Pages on 0800 671 444 and ask them to remove your address from their distribution list.

Recycling junk mail

All junk mail, leaflets and catalogues can be placed in any paper bank in East Sussex for recycling. These banks also accept newspapers and magazines.

Junk mail is also accepted in the doorstep recycling collection schemes provided in many areas. Please ensure you remove any items that are not made of paper (such as plastic or foil wrappings) before recycling.