Middleton offers program to cut down on junk mail, waste

The city of Middleton has adopted a new program that is designed to cut down on the amount of junk mail making its way to landfills.

The city has adopted a program called Catalog Choice for Communities.

“It makes it really easy for your residents to get in, create an account, log on and actually unsubscribe to several things in one easy website,” said Abby Attoun-Tucker, assistant director of community development for the city of Middleton.

The company partners with hundreds of direct mail, catalog and phone book companies, and with a simple click, a user’s mailbox will get a much-needed break. 

Taxpayers will eventually get a break, as well. In Middleton, it’s estimated each resident throws out 10 pounds of junk mail every year.


“It’s waste reduction. It saves taxpayer dollars,” Attoun-Tucker said of the program. “In the long run, it will pay back because we’ll be saving money in tipping fees from the landfill.”

The city of Middleton said this is one part of a larger effort to reduce the amount of trash residents throw out. By 2015, it has a goal of reducing waste per person by 10 percent each year, or 83 pounds. This service will take care of, on average, about 10 pounds per person, per year.

Steve Noll, marketing and advertising expert from Madison Area Technical College, said this as a win-win for consumers and businesses. Noll said the system creates a valuable resource.

“(It) allows consumers to be smarter about what they’re receiving, as well as businesses being smarter about what they’re sending out,” Noll said. “If you can spend more time on identifying those people, you’re spending less money on pieces of direct mail that aren’t needed. So, I think a service like that could help out both businesses and consumers.”

The service is free and for Middleton residents only. 

It will cost the city $750 a year, but officials said there’s no doubt they’ll recoup that cost when they negotiate new trash pickup contracts in the years to come. 

Residents can sign up at middleton.catalogchoice.org.