Junk Mail

Unsolicited mail is not only an administrative problem for those receiving it but the process of creating something that is disregarded and discarded also adversely impacts many aspects of our environment. More than a third of UC Berkeley’s incoming USPS mail consists of bulk rate advertising mail. While some proportion of this may be considered useful information, a large amount is going to be discarded as “junk mail.”

Bulk Rate Mail Policy

Mail Services has adopted a policy to deliver bulk rate mail unless is it:

  1. incorrectly addressed
  2. not “business related”

Since it is not practical for Mail Services to examine each piece of mail, we limit our removal of material from the mail delivery system to items that we consider “unambiguously” not business related. An example would be a Safeway circular, and only if it is received in bulk.

We are also somewhat hesitant to make determinations in terms of what is business related. For example, an LL Bean catalog received in the Classics Department would not be considered business related. However, the same catalog received in the Forestry Department could have some specific business applicability.

Subsequently, the majority of bulk advertising mail is delivered to departments, with the ultimate determination left to them as to what constitutes “junk mail.”

Junk Mail Action Plan

There is no simple solution to the junk mail problem, in part because what is one person's "junk mail" could be someone else's golden opportunity. However, there are a couple of actions that can be taken to address the problem.

First of all, you can reduce the amount of unwanted bulk rate mail you receive by requesting that your name be removed from the mailing list. This won't work in the case of a one-time mailing, but it will certainly make a difference. For more information on reducing the amount of junk mail you receive at work and at home, visit the following Web site: http://www.globalstewards.org/junkmail.htm

Junk Mail At Home or In The Dorm

To help reduce incoming junk mail at your home or in your dorm, there is also a service for your personal use. You can register with The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Mail Preference Service*. The DMA does not provide marketers with consumer mailing lists, nor does it facilitate consumer mailings. The Mail Preference Service is available to companies for the sole purpose of removing your name and address from their mailing lists. Click here to register for this service, or for more information.

*This service does not apply to mail sent to your business address, or to mail addressed to "resident/occupant".

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