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San Diego Drowning in Junk Mail

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Junk mail sent to San Diego city residents each year would cover the entire football field at Qualcomm Stadium - 45 feet deep. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

Mailboxes are filled every day with advertising circulars, credit card offers, political flyers and other junk. It's all part of the four-million tons of paper mail Americans get every year.  People living in the city of San Diego are sent 19,000 tons of mostly unrequested mail each year. 
Gal: San Diego is literally drowning in paper junk mail.
That's Steve Gal. He's with a San Diego company that provides online services to stop junk mail.
Gal: Nationally it's a 100-million trees a year to produce junk mail. That's mail, you know, we talk about junk mail, that's mail that people don't want.
San Diego's share of that is 485,000 trees.

Gal says there's an environmental cost even if the paper is recycled since printing, shipping and transportation uses energy.

He says one way to reduce the pounds of junk mail is to use free online services that allow people to remove their names from mailing lists.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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