Section 397-A of the New York State General Business Law, a.k.a the Lawn Litter Law, carries fines of $250 for first violations and up to $1,000 for repeat violations.
Property-owners, including co-op and condo boards, who prefer to have no unsolicited advertising must place a sign at least five inches tall and seven inches wide, with legible letters at least one inch tall, stating, "Do Not Place Unsolicited Advertising Materials on this Property." The Sanitation Department offers a free, downloadable sign here.
Signs are to be placed in visible areas such as on lawns or front doors. In apartment houses, signs can be put up indicating how many units want to receive unsolicited ads, and where such materials are to be placed.
If a business leaves litter in defiance of the sign, property owners can fill out a citizen complaint form (downloaded here) and send it with one of the advertisements to:
Director of Enforcement
NYC Department of Sanitation
c/o Unsolicited Advertisement Enforcement
1824 Shore Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11214
Individuals who send in the complaint form may be called before the Environmental Control Board to testify about the ads.
City Council Member Simcha Felder (District 44, Midwood-Borough Park), one of new law's the prime proponents, said at a City Hall press conference he took action after unsolicited menus and fliers on his elderly mother's doorstep caused her to be fined for accumulated litter.
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