The mail rule Australia Post never breaks - but I have and it enraged my neighbours

It turns out that this regulation is the first on Australia's official list of mail delivery guidelines and I've broken it, writes Adam Lucius.

A hand places catalogues into a mailbox (left) a catalogue hangs out of a mailbox with a No Junk Mail sticker (right).
Many people are infuriated if unwanted catalogues are dropped into their mail boxes ignoring No Junk Mail signs. Source: Supplied

Quick, call the cops.

I'm ready to surrender.

I’ve committed a crime and will readily confess.

And I’m going to throw my kids under the bus as well because they were willing accomplices.

So, what is it that I've done to be looking at a stretch inside?

It appears I've broken the Distribution Standards Board's code of conduct on multiple occasions while helping my kids offload thousands of Aldi, JB Hi Fi and Chemist Warehouse brochures just so they could pocket some money and leave my wallet alone.

I came to this shocking realisation after reading a complaint on a community Facebook group in Sydney's north.

"What does it take to stop pamphlet deliverers cramming (leaflets) into letterboxes on our northern beaches despite 'NO JUNK MAIL' signs?" one irate post read.

"Once again, after heavy rain, they were a sodden mess, blocking my letterbox so the mail cannot be delivered by the postman.

"When trying to remove them, they are wedged in so tightly, that pulling them eventually leads to lots of torn paper so they can't be read anyway!"

Three mailboxes, including one featuring a 'No Junk Mail' sticker (left) a man peaks into a letter box containing pamphlets (right).
No Junk Mail stickers can be a real issue for pamphlet distributors. Source: Supplied

Respecting 'No Junk Mail' signs first rule in guidelines

According to the Barons of the Brochures - the aforementioned Distribution Standards Board – you are not to inflict advertising paraphernalia on abstainers. They spell it out in no uncertain terms to the estimated 268,000 leaflet distributors who reach 28 million Australian and New Zealanders every day.

"Do Not place material in receptacles where a sign requesting non delivery is displayed. (Does not apply to newspapers)," the first of DSB's eight guidelines reads.

"Do Not deliver material where there is an obvious overflow of other such material or remove other articles to make room for your delivery."

Same deal with our friends at Australia Post. A spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia: "Australia Post is one of a number of providers delivering unaddressed mail around the country".

"Our Posties have clear directions not to deliver unaddressed leaflets into letterboxes with ‘No junk mail’ or ‘No unaddressed mail’ signs, unless they are community notices."

Guilty as charged. I've blatantly ignored those signs on several occasions. But I plead for leniency, Your Honour.

An Australia Post worker walks along the street with a mail trolley.
Australia Post insists that it always abides by No Junk Mail requests on mail boxes. Source: AAP

One man's trash not another man's treasure

For those unfamiliar with the delights of doing a pamphlet run, it all starts when they dump thousands of the bastards at your front door.

You then have to unpick the packs, spread the pamphlets around your lounge room floor like you're investigating a cold case murder and then put them in bundles of a half dozen or more using elastic bands.

Then the real fun begins.

You get to drag your tired and whingeing kids around the streets for three hours at a rate of about six cents a letterbox.

No Junk Mail signs are the proverbial red rag to a bull.

Adhere to the warning and your kids will be university age by the time the run's over.

It becomes a challenge to be met.

Anyway, what gives them the right to ignore this important literature before they've even had a chance to read it?

As it turns out, they have every right.

So much for one man's trash is another man's treasure!

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