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City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-1349


City announces service that eliminates unwanted junk mail, cuts landfill waste

The City of Kansas City, Mo., has once again taken the lead in implementing progressive sustainability initiatives with the debut of a new mail preference service powered by nonprofit organization Catalog Choice. This service allows residents to opt out of receiving unsolicited junk mail and derives from a partnership between Catalog Choice and local non-profit organization Keep Kansas City Beautiful, an affiliate of the City’s Bridging the Gap.

Chicago, Ill.; Berkeley, Calif.; Tompkins County (Ithaca) N.Y.; and Marion County (Salem), Ore. are also participating in this program.

Any Kansas City, Mo., resident or business can create a free account at and choose which types of junk mail they no longer wish to receive, including advertisements, phone books and credit card solicitations.

The City hopes this initiative will contribute to a cleaner environment while cutting collection and disposal expenses. According to a 2008 Environmental Protection Agency study*, more than three million tons of junk mail are discarded each year. With the annual collection and landfill cost of these mailings and phone books estimated at up to $10 per household, the cost savings for Kansas City, Mo., will be significant.

“Reducing the amount of solid waste generated in Kansas City is our first priority in the hierarchy of ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle.’ It’s also the most effective way to reduce the City’s cost for solid waste management at a time of extremely tight City budgets,” said Councilwoman Jan Marcason.

The City’s Solid Waste Division has one of the most cost-effective trash and recycling programs in the country, spending $18.35 million annually, or about $7 less per household than the national average. To address growing concern about future solid waste issues, the City developed a Long-Term Solid Waste Strategic Management Plan in 2008. Catalog Choice will help the City of Kansas City, Mo., achieve its goal of diverting 80 percent of waste from landfills by 2020. Last year, the City diverted 30 percent of its waste from the landfills.

“Keep Kansas City Beautiful is a leader taking strides toward a zero-waste mission - and setting a positive precedent for consumer choice,” said Chuck Teller, executive director of Catalog Choice. “The City is empowering its constituents to stop unwanted mail and phone books at the source while cutting costs for the community.”

For media inquiries or more information on the City’s Office of Environmental Quality, please contact Dennis Murphey, the City’s chief environmental officer, at 816-513-3459.

For media inquiries or more information about solid waste management, please contact Dennis Gagnon, public information officer for the Public Works Department, 816-513-2659.


* Source: Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the U.S.: Detailed Tables and Figures for 2008, U.S. EPA (2009)

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