Circular Hell—How to Stop Unwanted Flyers

Beside annoyance, Manayunk resident says litter a big issue.

Editor's note: Patch updated the article to include the correct "No Handbils" form, available here.

Add another issue to the quality of life pile, or doorstep. Like parking, this complaint affects every property in Manayunk and Roxborough—business, homeowner and renter alike. Circulars, menus, phone books and flyers bombard doorsteps and blow around the streets.

Doug Martin lives on Cotton Street and owns land on Silverwood Street. The more junk mail and unsolicited advertising piles up, the higher his blood pressure climbs.

"With the amount of them I see blowing around the street it would seem like they are just dropping them from a plane all over the neighborhood. We might as well just start dumping our trash out the windows," he said. "I know I always see things about keeping Manayunk clean, I feel like is a major source of the litter."

Martin collected nearly a full shopping bag of menus over the past two months. He finds them lodged in his door, placed on his door step or blowing around his lot. Although peeved by the promotional practices, which he calls "outdated," the residents' response further confounds him.

"This annoys me beyond belief because most people just pull them off their window and throw them on the street, or the wind blows them all over. Not to mention when it rains and they turn into a pile of wet paper mess on the sidewalk," he said.

This issue has plagued Philadelphia as a whole for years. Former Philadelphia City Councilman Frank DiCicco (from parts of South Philly, Northern Liberties, and Kensington) penned a bill several years ago that outlawed the practice. However, that was ruled unconstitutional, according to Joshua Cohen, special assistant to Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.

Today, citizens can request a non-delivery decal from the Department of Licenses and Inspections that bans circulars from being delivered.

"If a restaurant continues to place flyers on your door with the decal they are subject to a violation... so a property owner must request a form in order to be exempt from circulars," Cohen said.

Citizens can follow this link and order the nondelivery decal from 311.

Cohen said residents can stop by the councilman's office in Roxborough and pick up a form there, as well.

The form is also attached.

Andrew Miller October 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM
THIS IS HOW IT STARTS PEOPLE! LITTER FROM THE HEAVENS! Pamphlets come first, then civil war. This needs to be stopped. I love pizza but WHO NEEDS ALL THESE MENUS?!?!?!?!!?
ML October 19, 2012 at 05:01 PM
These always accidentally get thrown in our front flower bed without us knowing, until the wind blows and the street is littered with circulars and the menus that have fallen out of ours and our neighbor's doors. Drives us nuts.
Sam Fran Scavuzzo October 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM
The form is available here (plus I attached it to the article). Thanks to the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association, which had the PDF on its website. http://www.nlna.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/No_handbills.pdf
B. Bren October 19, 2012 at 05:43 PM
They are even placed in storm doors and slide down into the interior of the door. I have jalousie windows and they force them between the glass. I have called a number of pizza places, that are the greatest offenders, and they are usually nasty and do nothing. I sometimes follow up with a written not to the greatest offenders.
Jim Dea October 20, 2012 at 03:19 AM
These circulars, including the ones from supermarkets tossed to yards and steps on Thursdays, as well as the pizza shop menus are as effective as public service announcements telling crooks no one is home. So, in addition tothe litter problem, they are also a security problem. I'm glad to know about the decals, I hope they are more effective than the "Do Not Call" phone registrations.


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