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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 15:37 GMT
Man's monster junk mail mountain
Junk mail
The junk mail could be viewed as an artwork
A man's experiment to collect and record all the junk mail he was sent in a year resulted in a 70lb mountain.

Retired taxi firm owner Gerry Ranger's study found he received 701 items in a year, a pile 37 inches high.

The 68-year-old from Gloucestershire wanted to highlight the waste involved in the direct marketing industry.

Now a local radio station is planning to hand the mail over to artists who plan to turn it into an artwork that can be entered in the Turner Prize.

Mr Ranger told BBC News Online: "Like everybody else we all get this junk mail. We either bin it or recycle it. I just wondered how much this weighs up to in a year.

"We didn't reply or respond to any of it."

Among the items were 33 charity appeals, 42 credit card applications, 48 clothing catalogues or adverts, 30 insurance applications and 84 holiday and car brochures.

Mr Ranger said if he had responded to all the "dodgy" prize draws he was sent he would have had a chance to win eight cars and a total of 3,355,000 in cash.

Mr Ranger and his wife Veronica found one of the most annoying categories of item were the unsolicited mailshots from the local estate agents asking them whether they wanted to sell their house.

But he added: "It is the credit cards that annoy us most of all, they keep repeating."

Mr Ranger said the waste caused by junk mail needed to be highlighted.

"There is all the energy that is used, the trees that are felled to produce the paper for it to be printed."

But he conceded there were benefits to society from junk mail with employment for postmen, printing workers and direct marketing employees.

How to fall in love with junk mail
02 Sep 03  |  Magazine
Mountains of mail
17 Oct 02  |  Working Lunch

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