'They're a waste': Catalogue stacks continuing to grow in Bendigo, and "no junk mail" signs aren't stopping them

Flora Hill resident Lee Adams says catalogue distributors are ignoring her "no junk mail" sticker, and the number of catalogues is continuing to grow.
Flora Hill resident Lee Adams says catalogue distributors are ignoring her "no junk mail" sticker, and the number of catalogues is continuing to grow.

ONCE a week in Bendigo, a thick stack of catalogues will arrive in letterboxes – sometimes so thick it requires a rubber band to hold together.

For some, it’s a good way to see the bargains.

For others, it goes straight into the recycling bin.

But when you have a “no junk mail” sign up, the expectation is that it doesn’t arrive at all.

Lee Adams, of Neale Street in Flora Hill, has become frustrated as distributors continue to ignore her “no junk mail” sign. Her neighbours have also had the catalogues arrive unsolicited.

She said the sheer amount of junk mail being delivered to Bendigo houses was getting out of hand, and was a waste.

“Now that we’re hearing so much more about these issues, like on War on Waste, it’s got everyone thinking,” Ms Adams said.

“We’ll get catalogues from 10 different companies normally. I just put them straight in the recycle bin, they’re a waste.

“Most people have the internet so why can’t they just go online and look up the deals?

“I’m wondering how many other people are being bombarded with this rubbish and what might be done collectively to stop it.”

The Distributions Standards Board handles complaints about unsolicited advertising material, while the Environment Protection Authority can also investigate.

Companies can be fined up to $1586 for offences relating to junk mail.

But not all material can be classified as “junk”, according to EPA manager north west Danny Childs.

“Items exempt under the act include any stamped mail delivered by, or on behalf of, Australia Post, and a newspaper or magazine, any material that has a political purpose,” he said.

Catalogues, however, are junk.

“If your letterbox has a ‘no junk mail’ label or equivalent on it, junk mail may not be placed in it,” Mr Childs said.

Distribution company Salmat handles the catalogue delivery in Bendigo, and they too were disappointed to hear the “no junk mail” signs were going unheeded.

A company spokesperson said their deliverers were educated about the laws.

“Salmat is strongly opposed to such delivery practices and is investigating the matter,” he said.

“We have numerous initiatives in place to ensure our distributors do the right thing and respect ‘no advertising material’ stickers on residents’ letterboxes.”