Greener pastures: DOS holds hearing on lawn litter – QNS.com

Greener pastures: DOS holds hearing on lawn litter

Take a drive through most neighborhoods in Queens and you’re sure to see front lawns littered with “throwaway” circulars, plastic bags stuffed with advertisements and coupons.
“This is a big problem with a lot of people in the community,” said Assemblymember Mark Weprin whose Lawn Litter Law, co-sponsored by State Senator Frank Padavan, aims to curb the proliferation of unwanted lawn debris.
A hearing on proposed regulations regarding the implementation of the law took place at the New York City Department of Sanitation (DOS) on Wednesday, June 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Queens Civic Congress (QCC), after receiving preliminary complaints from member organizations, encouraged concerned residents to testify and submit their comments on the regulations.
“The point of the Weprin-Padavan law is to induce distributors to abide by the law and not throw trash on our porches, walks and front yards,” QCC President Corey Bearak said in a statement. Bearak expected to propose amendments to the law so that homeowners are not discouraged from making a complaint by having to download or call 3-1-1 for an affidavit, have the form notarized, mail it to the DOS along with the offending lawn litter and ultimately attend a hearing if the adjudicating officer requests testimony.
The QCC is advocating for, among other things, a pre-addressed pre-stamped envelope or a downloadable mailing label with postage for use by complainants, as well as the deployment of a Sanitation Enforcement agent to collect affidavits and corresponding throwaway material.
“We’re hoping the system, whatever it is, works,” said Weprin, who called the circulars “a nuisance” and “a quality of life issue.” A lawn strewn with throwaways, Weprin explained, is a tell-tale sign that someone is not home and is a safety hazard when the circulars freeze and are covered with snow in the winter months.
According to Padavan’s website, the Lawn Litter Law allows city residents to place a sign on their property “to stop the incessant and unwanted literature and advertisements unscrupulously left on their property.”
However, the law specifically exempts newspapers and publications which are distributed at least weekly. This includes so-called “Penny savers,” if they contain a “de minimis amount of news,” according to the text of the law.

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