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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Thurston County Public Works, 360-867-2491

Take Stock and Opt Out of Phone Books.

Do you ever get the feeling that multiple phone books are being delivered to your home? Well, it's true! If you are frustrated by this duplication or find that you don't even use any of the phone books, now you can do something about it.

You may have recently heard the news that Seattle has an opt-out program for residents that don't want these phone books. The good news is you have the exact same program available to you. Just go to Catalog Choice at www.catalogchoice.org for a quick and easy way to opt out of phone books. To get started, type in your area code. You can see immediately how many different phone books are delivered to your address each year. Then, set up an account. Once you receive your password via e-mail, you can start deleting phone books that you no longer want to get.

Catalog Choice has a new, even easier way to opt out of unwanted mail. Now they are introducing the MailStop Envelope, a mail-in program for stopping unwanted junk mail. With the postage-paid MailStop Envelope, you simply collect and send in opt-outs. Unwanted mail goes from your mailbox to your MailStop Envelop, without taking up your time or cluttering your desk. When you reach 15 opt-outs, drop your MailStop Envelope back in the mail and we'll take it from there. Since MailStop is part of Catalog choice, you'll still be able to check the progress of your opt-out request in your account.

You can also use this Web site for deleting catalogs. Browse by catalog names from the huge list and start deleting. The program is offered by the Ecology Center, a California-based organization that promotes sustainable living.

A good way to remove your name from several national mailing lists at once is to sign up for the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. This Web site www.dmachoice.org provides instructions on how to register online (for a small processing fee) or via U.S. Mail (a free service). This service is only for national, not local, mail and only for residential, not business, addresses.

To stop receiving mail from specific sources, call the company or organization's customer service number. You can also make your request via e-mail from the company's Web site or send a written request. If sending a written request, use the mailing label sent to you on the unwanted mail as the return address on the postcard. Many times, this label has a code number that will help the business identify and remove your name. Be sure to place the mailing label in the upper left-hand corner of the stamped side of the postcard.

The major credit bureaus have a toll-free, 24-hour number you can call to have your name removed from mailing lists: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). The recording will ask for your full name, address, telephone number, and social security number (to confirm the identity of the caller making the request). When presented with options, press 1 to have your name removed for two years or press 3 to have your name removed permanently.

Consider using some or all of these options for reducing phone books, junk mail, and catalogs from finding their way to you. You have the power to control what gets delivered to your home and mailbox.

For any other questions on junk mail or phone book opt out programs contact Thurston County Public Works at 360-867-2491 or email ThurstonSolidWaste@co.thurston.wa.us.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3