All jammed up about junk mail? Cancelling it is an option

The junk mail recycling bins at the post office are gone for good, Take it home or cancel it altogether are your options.

Hey, that's not a recycling bin! Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Need to know: Canada Post made the Revelstoke post office comply with policy prohibiting recycling bins in the mailbox room. The policy is designed to reduce waste, save costs and comply with unsolicited mail advertisers’ desire to have the flyers taken home and consumed. You’ll have to take your unsolicited mail home or you can cancel junk mail at the front desk.

The recycling bins were removed at the Revelstoke post office post-box room about a week ago. The big pile of unsolicited mail dumped on the table is getting smaller day by day, a signal that many are adjusting to the change.

A manager at the store explained they had to comply with Canada Post policy. The internal rules say no recycling bins in the post office box room, and Revelstoke was past due to remove them.

Why? Advertisers who send out unsolicited mail are disappointed when their marketing efforts go from the box to the bin without a glance.

As a strategy, they feel denying the recycling bins will force residents to take the junk mail flyers home to recycle, increasing their chances more people will read them. So, that’s Canada Post policy, not just in Revelstoke.

The excessive recycling was also costing the post office money. They recycle their own paper and had to cart the recycling back to the Kamloops mail hub.

So, what do you do now?

You can take the flyers home and recycle them.

Or, the post office can take you off the unsolicited mail list, so none of the flyers will end up in your box. All you need to do is go to the front desk and give them your post office box number and that’s it.

In the mail room, one resident said she’s cancelled the junk many years ago.

Another resident wished they could only get the in-town flyers, but not ones from grocery stores outside of Revelstoke they never shop at.

Post office staff said there were about 2,600 boxes in the Revelstoke system. Since the recycling bins disappeared, about five per cent (130 mailbox renters) have approached the front desk and asked to be removed.

Many mailbox renters have cancelled junk mail already, but the numbers or percentage was not immediately available.

There are some exceptions to the junk mail ban. Pretty much any unaddressed mail is filtered out, but there is still addressed junk mail – an advertiser who gets your name and address and mails you unsolicited things.

Also, there are a few kinds of government unaddressed mail that gets an exception from the junk mail ban.