Is It Safe to Throw Away Mail With An Address on It

Protecting Your Privacy: Can You Throw Away Mail With an Address on It?

It is generally safe to throw away mail with an address on it as long as you are confident that the mail is not sensitive or personal. However, if you are concerned about the privacy of the information in the mail, you can always shred it or black out any personal information before discarding it. This can help to prevent identity theft and protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

It is also a good idea to be mindful of how you dispose of your mail. For example, you should not leave mail in a public trash bin or recycling container where others could easily access it. Instead, putting it in a secure, private trash bin or recycling container would be best.

Risks Involved in Throwing Away Mail With Personal Information

If you’re about to throw away your junk mail in the bin or your garbage bag, hold up and read ahead! Keep in mind that throwing away your mail with your address and other information is extremely unsafe.

How Do You Properly Dispose of Mail?

The best way to dispose of mail is to shred it. If you don’t have access to a shredder, you can burn it, hire a shredding service, cut it up with scissors, or even soak it in water. The key is ensuring that your personal information isn’t identifiable once you destroy it.

One of the major reasons for it is that these harmless mail items can potentially lead to identity theft. Identity theft means that someone can use up your personal or even financial information for using your identity to commit crimes.

Moreover, if your only concern is the address, remember that anyone can obtain it with the help of junk mail and carry out fraud or burglary. Thus, it becomes necessary that you always stay cautious when it comes to disposing of your mail. Now, let’s talk about how you can dispose of mail containing personal or confidential information.

Easy Ways to Get Rid of Junk Mail Containing Address

You cannot simply leave your junk mail unattended because of the risk of identity theft. Else, they can take up quite a lot of space in your house.

So, what can you do with all the junk mail containing your address? The answer is – you dispose of them but with certain precautions and other steps.

Given below are some of the easiest ways to do it.

1. Destroy Them By Shredding Them

The shredding method is the most effective method for destroying your junk mail.

Do you know why? With the help of shredding, every part of the mail will get shredded into a useless pile of paper shreds.

Due to this, nobody will be able to decode your address or other sensitive information. By the time they do, you might even have moved places!

Now, you can get a paper shredder for shredding your mail.

Can I Throw Away the Previous Tenant’s Mail?

It is illegal to throw away mail that isn’t addressed to you! If you have mail that isn’t addressed, the best action is to take it to the post office or write “return to sender” on the envelope and place it back in the mailbox.

There are mainly two types of shredders available for this purpose: a single-cut shredder and a cross-cut shredder. A cross shredder will ensure proper shredding of your mail into small pieces rather than long strips.

Remember that you mostly cannot recycle shredded paper because the fibers are too thin. In this situation, your best bet is to either dispose of it or use it as compost material.

Thus, we highly recommend destroying your mail by shredding them before throwing them away.

2. Destroy Them By Cutting Them

If you don’t want to buy a shredder or want to get rid of the mail immediately, you can cut the paper with a pair of scissors. This method is great for people who don’t have a lot of stocked-up mail and have time.

Keep in mind that if you choose this option, you cut the paper properly and not just into three to four pieces. If you don’t cut it properly, it can again become very easy for people to join it with tape and, thus, use your information.

So, always cut the mail into tiny pieces that will be hard for anyone to join or tape together.

Is It Safe to Throw Away Mail With An Address on It

3. Destroy Them by Burning Away

Another option you have is to destroy the mail by burning it away. This may seem like the easiest and the fastest way to get rid of junk mail, but it is not eco-friendly.

A lot of places don’t allow burning anything without taking permission. It’s also unsafe due to the fire risks involved. So, ensure you’re allowed to burn stuff in the open, and do it carefully.

If you don’t want to burn them in your backyard, you can burn them in a fire pit or a wood stove.

4. Destroy Them by Pulping

If you want to destroy your sensitive information, you can try the pulping method too. Here’s what pulping means. In this method, you insert the paper into bleached water. This ensures that the text is then unreadable.

5. Make Use of a Wood Chipper

Lastly, if you have a wood chipper, you can shove all the unimportant documents with your address inside them. Once it is chipped, you can use it as compost for your backyard garden. This way, you’re getting both benefits!

So, these are some of the easiest ways to throw away your mail without risking leaking personal data to outsiders.

Should I Shred Documents With My Address?

In general, shredding documents with personal information is the best practice. Suppose you want to get rid of documents with your name, address, and banking info. In that case, shredding the social security number or other identifying information will keep them from getting into the wrong hands.

How Can You Protect Your Information From Getting Stolen Via Mail?

Apart from destroying your mail containing addresses and other important information, there are a few other steps to ensure that you protect all confidential information from getting stolen.

These steps are:

1. Checking Your Mailbox Often

You need to ensure that you always check your mailbox thrice a week for any mail containing sensitive information.

2. Try to Go Digital

If you don’t want to go through the effort to destroy the mail, you can try to go digital. For example, you can request for any statements and bills to be sent online.

3. Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions

Sometimes, you may have filled out forms for receiving mail you are no longer interested in. If that’s the case, make sure you cancel unwanted subscriptions and reduce the number of junk mail.

In this way, you can prevent any fraud done using your identity.


Be mindful of how you dispose of mail with personal information to prevent identity theft. Shredding mail is the most effective method, but cutting it with scissors or hiring a shredding service are also viable options. It is important to ensure that personal information is not identifiable once it is destroyed.

Additionally, it is illegal to throw away mail that is not addressed to you, and it is best to return it to the sender or take it to the post office. Always be cautious when disposing of mail to protect your personal information.