Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lawn litter rules are asinine

On Wednesday, June 4th (9:30am-12:30pm) the Dept of Sanitation will be holding a hearing on its proposed regulations for implementing the just-passed Litter Law ---"governing the distribution of advertisements on private property." (State mandated penalty for such littering: $250 up to $1,000.)

The rules for implementation of the Litter Law, as proposed by Dept of Sanitation (5 pages, click below -- and available on the DOS web site at nyc.gov) -- and to be commented on at or before the Public Hearing on June 4th -- are absolutely asinine.

They impose a severe burden on the property owner and are most likely never to be pursued by most homeowners!! They would require the homeowner to download a complaint affidavit form or to call 311 for one [no problem]. The homeowner would then have to get the form notarized and mail it together with the literature deposited to DOS in Brooklyn, and then be available to attend a hearing, presumably in Manhattan, if the adjudicating officer asks him to appear and testify.

Notarizing, with its costs and inconvenience, should be eliminated; the homeowner's identity can be confirmed by providing a copy of a recent tax bill or by having DOS refer to the Dept of Finance web site. How many homeowners will want to get involved if they face an appearance at a hearing in Manhattan, or elsewhere???? The law only authorizes DOS enforcement people to issue tickets when they witness the littering; the NYPD should be authorized to do so as well.

To facilitate such advertising distribution, perhaps the distributing agency could provide a "mailbox" designated for such a purpose to willing homeowners, similar to what newspaper home delivery people do. Please react in the community's favor.

Murray H. Berger
(incensed) Executive Chairman)
Kew Gardens Civic Association, Inc.
(718-263-7180 or mhberger@aol.com or 631-749-0743)

Lawn Litter law: Proposed rules (5 pages):
DSNY - Rules and Regulations - Rulemaking: Notices of Adoption


CntrySigns said...

I'm all for reducing the crap on my stoop but to need to get it notarized and go to court! Unrealistic. Where I rent a garage the guy puts a sign in 3 languages for no flyer's or ads and it seems to work. I think I'll try that.

Anonymous said...

Look, guys, you just don't understand politics, now do you?

The point is not to DO SOMETHING, but to SEEM TO DO SOMETHING.

Unlike givaways to the tweeded, which is soooo easy, garners sympathy, and gets headlines, quality of life stuff is not only boring, but almost impossible.

And complicated since anyone who stands in the sights of legislation has bought off the politicans with a nice donation.

Hense, the RubeGoldberg solution for what should be a simple answer to a pervasive long standing annoyance.

Just because the good government folks are stupid and naive doesnt not mean the politicans are.

Anonymous said...

Hey, people, at least it's a step in the right direction. I've contemplated suing in small claims court! Now I can do something quicker and easier to address the issue. This is a good thing. And it's been my experience that there's a notary in every drug store and real estate broker's office. Wouldn't that be ironic? Get your complaint notarized by the real estate broker whose flyer was left on your lawn?

Anonymous said...

Hey, people, at least it's a step in the right direction.

ah huh ....

Taxpayer said...

When these people go through a neighborhood tossing litter and flyers all over the place, it would be quick to phone 311 and have a Sanitation official arrive promptly and witness the distribution in person.

The distributors move slowly from house to house, and toss the material whether or not a sign demanding no flyers is prominently displayed. So, catching distribution in progress will be simple.

Further, why should a homeowner have to request no material? The homeowner who wants material should be required to post a notice inviting the litter. Then, the homeowner could be penalized if the litter is not removed promptly.

Anonymous # 1 has it right. This ineffectual "law" was designed to fail, and its implementation is further designed to make it nearly impossible to enforce.

Change the law. Homeowners who want the stuff MUST post a notice saying so. Then, leave the rest of us alone.

If litter is found on property without the invitation, penalize the author and distributor and the folks performing the distribution.

The litter will disappear.

rob said...

I've been looking forward to this law's implementation, and I'm sorry to see that it such an empty gesture. I have a huge, ugly metal sign that I resent having to even have up; the delivery people love to put three flyers literally 2 centimeters above it each week. I've tried without success to track the offenders here, but if there is info on the bottom of the flyer it often leads to websites with phone numbers that goo to other businesses! When I have asked the grocery stores who distributes these things they get very cagey and won't give the info.

Having said all this, I will still do the notarizing and everything because the idea of these people getting fines is too delicious to ignore.

Anonymous said...

way to go, Rob. use the law to get these littering punkks. it's the next best thing to a class action lawsuit.

JoeShep said...

I also think the rules as adopted are dumb. I don't want to be made to attend a hearing, but I will if I have to. The stuff I get at my house (Bayside) is insane.

When I was looking for the results of the hearing I googled "lawn litter" and found a website that seems to have a better solution. They have a setup that makes alot more sense, and they send you a free sign. I registered my house, and I'm looking forward to my sign.

I used the name/url to link to it. Check it out. I think these guys are smarter than anyone in Albany.

MarkF said...

I also signed up at the site Joe mentions after contacting the site's owners. They're getting sign-ups from all across the city. So when the distributors start seeing the same sign everywhere they'll have no way to say they didn't know a home is off limits to lawn litter.