Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's deputy web editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Five localities have signed up to save money and paper waste simply by cutting down on junk mail. Berkeley, Calif.; Tompkins County, N.Y.; Kansas City, Mo.; Marion County, Ore.; and Chicago, residents can now opt out of receiving any unwanted mail by registering on a localized website, according to GreenBiz.com. The Mail Preference Service program, created by the California-based nonprofit Catalog Choice, allows residents to manage how much and what kind of mailings they receive. According to Catalog Choice, the annual cost of disposing unwanted mail and phone books can equal at least $1 billion. These initiatives could save cities up to $10 per participating household due to reductions in collection costs and landfill space of the typically thrown-out mail. The local governments will eventually receive data displaying the participation rates and environmental impact of the program.