Returning junk mail to sender?

I don’t care whether USPS actually returns it to the sender or sheds it, but if I don’t open it and clearly mark it Return to Sender aren’t they still obligated to take it away? Or does that only apply to First Class mail and to Bulk Mail? Over the past several days my mail carrier has refused to pick up several pieces of junk mail I marked Return to Sender and just today several pieces s/he did pick up earlier this week were placed back in my mailbox.

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I don’t know the answer to your question, but here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Open the envelopes and write with a fat sharpie “Please remove me from your mailing list” and circle your name and address. Put in their postage-paid return envelope and drop back in the mail. It could work to staunch future materials. If no postage-paid return envelope…
  2. Look for one that has a large postage-paid return envelope and proceed to stuff it with a few saved-up pieces of other junk mail, then drop in back in the mail. Someone else can then shred/dispose of the unwanted material.

USPS won’t return it unless there is something like “address correction requested” printed on it. Few bulk mail has such a noyice. Part of the reason for low rates on bulk mail is that it is not returned where first class has the returned fee built into its price (not, you can’t buy first class stamps without return fees built in). I worked in both a AO (regular post office) and PDC (Processing and distribution center) and going through undeliverable bulk mail from the carriers was part of my duties.
As they told us in orientation it is not junk mail, it is 31% of your paycheck.

Again I don’t what USPS does with it as long they take it away. I’m no longer willing to make even the minimal effort of carrying into my house and throwing into my own garbage. The most I’m willing to do is take my Return to Sender stamp w/ me when I check the mail and put it right back in the box.

They are not gonna pick it up. If you keep doing it they are gonna give you a nice letter from the Postmaster. Your best bet is get off the mailing lists. It’s hard to achieve this. And new ones pop up everyday. I put it in the recycling bin and do my bit that way. You’ll lose your mind trying to control these things. Just chill, chunk it in the bin. It’ll be ok.

You are being silly. And stressing yourself out needlessly by worrying about such minor things. Just carry in to your own recycling bin. Most of us need more exercise anyway.

But don’t ask your postal carrier to take it away. They can NOT do so, by Postal regulation. They are required to deliver it to the address, and can lose their job if they fail to do so.

Don’t put it in some other mailers’ reply envelope – that other company has no way or removing you from a different company’s mailing list. So they will just discard it. And technically, if their post-paid reply envelope is filled with something other than their reply card, that company can ask the Post Office for a refund on their post-paid envelope. Just like if you past the post-paid reply envelope to a brick. (But that won’t even get to the originating company; it will be discarded by your local post office immediately.) And all this kind of stuff just makes extra work for the Postal Service, distracting them from delivering the mail, and, in the end, increasing postage rates.

Let’s see - marketers pay the post office to deliver crap into our mailboxes we don’t want, forcing us to dispose of it. But, if we try to send it back, it creates extra work for the PO, and they could raise rates? Let them raise rates on the marketers. 90% of stuff in people’s mailboxes is unwanted trash that either ends-up in the local landfill or maybe recycled.

Junk mail is the equivalent of spam and robocalls - eventually technology will catch-up and mailboxes as we know them will cease to exist. What will the postal service do then?

I can’t wait for the day that Amazon starts delivering all my purchases electronically. Let’s hope it’s soon.

I am counting on a replicator in my house. Can’t wait.

Is there any postal regulation or federal law that actually requires me to accept delivery of unwanted mail? What happens if instead of tying to get my letter carrier to take it away I save it up for a few weeks take it to the nearest public mailbox or just go to an actual post office and dump it on the counter inside (strictly hypothetical, I realize that would take vastly more time & effort than disposing of it myself).

I remember a customer complaining about bulk mail to my postmaster who responded “Do you know how many disabled people have jobs with mailers, who would be unemployed otherwise?”

If you like getting your important mail, say checks or stuff you’ve ordered, I wouldn’t piss off the USPS. They don’t have to bring mail to you at all. Getting mail is not a right it’s a privilage.

You’re willing to carry a Return to Sender stamp to your mailbox, sort your mail, mark the stuff you don’t want, and stamp it, but you’re not willing to toss it into a recycle bin on the way to the front door? I smell a bit of hyperbole here.

I’ve gotten to the point where, while I don’t welcome it, I sure don’t resent junk mail. It’s literally a 10 second detour to my recycle bin. I also feel that having an affordable, reliable home delivery service, provided by the USPS is darn close to a civil necessity, so I’m more than happy to let advertisers waste their dimes to print and mail stuff to me in order to keep the service around. I’d much rather have someone send me a piece of junk snail mail, than a marketing phone call, or spam email. And because there are actual printing and mailing costs associated with physical junk mail, it eventually stops coming, unlike spam email, which has zero cost to the sender, and so is impossible to get yourself out of.

If you want to refuse it, you can – you just have to be standing there when the postal carrier comes by each day.

If it was in your mailbox, and you save it up and dump it in the nearest mailbox, most likely it will just be delivered back to you the next day. That’s the address on the envelope, after all. Nobody sorts through all the mail in the box when it is collected, it just goes into the stream of incoming mail and is sorted for delivery. Trash, and odd junk, etc. are pulled out at that point, but for regular envelopes with a valid address (& already bar-coded), it’s easiest to just sort them & send them on for delivery – back to you!

If you waited in line at a post office and just dumped it on a counter, the worker would just tell you they don’t take it back once delivered. If you dumped it and walked away, the worker would likely say “what a nut!” and push it into the recycle bin. If you did it repeatedly, they’d identify you (easy, from the addresses on the mail) and have the Postal Inspectors deal with you. And they can get real tough.

And. like Beck said, they can always respond by shutting off your mail delivery completely.

You seem to think this is a two step operation involving your “acceptance” - it isn’t - their job is to deliver it, and once they have they’re done.

My Daddy attached a small trash can at his mail box and sorted it there throwing away junk at that point. On trash day he dumped it in his bin. Easy peasy.

I consider junk mail reception part of the cost of having a postal service. Just like I put up with commercials during TV and radio shows, or ads on web sites. It’s a small inconvenience that helps pay for the convenience of receiving mail and packages from the USPS.

Whenever I get upset at the volume of junk mail, I console myself thinking of the amount of money those organizations wasted to have that stuff printed, packaged, sorted, and delivered to me just to have it dismissed and disposed of. Each piece of junk in the bin is a win for me.

Well, then, I guess the OP could always move to a country whose postal system doesn’t have such a silly rule. I always stamp my junk mail “RETURN TO SENDER – REFUSED BY ADDRESSEE” (or the equivalent in the local language) and drop it in the nearest post box. After doing this once or twice, I usually never hear from that particular junk mailer again.

Not likely… Remember fax machines? The office where I worked had two, and every morning there was a heap of junk faxes printed out that had to be sorted through to find the important stuff.

Imagine that with a replicator… The mind boggles at the thought of what you might find.

Somewhat an aside here but I think it worth mentioning. Many years ago I got fed up with the volume of junk mail I was receiving. No on-line capability was available at the time so I wrote a letter to the Direct Marketing Association asking to be removed from their member database. It took two or so years but it worked. After all these years I get very little junk mail; most of it from my banks, my cable company (grrr!) and my insurance carriers.

No need to send letters any longer –