handbills.jpgIn Noe, my neighborhood, we are plagued — PLAGUED I SAY! by armies of workers hanging take out menus and other sundry advertisements on anything remotely resembling a doorknob. Many end up on the sidewalks or in the gutter. Isn’t this akin to littering? Why is it not illegal? Is it?

These types of advertisements, which our city refers to as “handbills”, are illegal if they are unwanted. So, if you’re happy knowing about all of the pizza delivery and yoga class options around your area, everything’s cool. But if all those handbills cluttering your doorstop are pissing you off, you can get rid of them with some arts and crafts: “To stop delivery of unwanted handbills, you must post a sign that reads: ‘No Handbills’. The notice must be at least eight square inches and be posted in a conspicuous area. If a signis posted, it is illegal to distribute handbills anywhere on your property, includingyour porch, yard, steps, hallway, or mailbox.”

If you make an appropriate sign and are still beleaguered by pesky advertisements, the violators will be fined (up to $250, which isn’t much, but may cut into their handbill printing funds).

Wow, SF is kind of like the Wild Wild West when it comes to illegal handbills! Go forth and take control of your Noe Valley estate, dear reader. For more on unwanted handbill and newspaper delivery, click here.

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  • Jimbo

    I have a sign up right by my door that says “No ads or menus” in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. They still come. I throw them all in the street, and have even chased down some of the distributors and handed back the litter. If I see contractor ads (usually in baggies with a few rocks) lying in driveways while I’m out walking my dog, I’ll kick them into the street. This is such a scourge and the city will do nothing about it.

  • Jimbo

    I have a sign up right by my door that says “No ads or menus” in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. They still come. I throw them all in the street, and have even chased down some of the distributors and handed back the litter. If I see contractor ads (usually in baggies with a few rocks) lying in driveways while I’m out walking my dog, I’ll kick them into the street. This is such a scourge and the city will do nothing about it.

  • Katie Baker

    Jimbo, have you tried calling 311 and reporting the businesses still handing out the ads?

  • Katie Baker

    Jimbo, have you tried calling 311 and reporting the businesses still handing out the ads?

  • Jimbo

    Yep – and the city workers sound totally uninterested in the complaints, and I’ve never heard anything back. The same advertisers and contractors still hit my street week after week. (And don’t get me started on the yellow pages!)

    Thanks for a good article. 🙂

  • Jimbo

    Yep – and the city workers sound totally uninterested in the complaints, and I’ve never heard anything back. The same advertisers and contractors still hit my street week after week. (And don’t get me started on the yellow pages!)

    Thanks for a good article. 🙂

  • Akit

    I wonder if those solicitors know it’s a federal offense to put advertisements into people’s mailbox unless if it went through the normal mailing procedures by the Postal Service:

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Direct-Mail—Your-Mailbox-is-Off-Limits!&id=2139993

  • Akit

    I wonder if those solicitors know it’s a federal offense to put advertisements into people’s mailbox unless if it went through the normal mailing procedures by the Postal Service:

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Direct-Mail—Your-Mailbox-is-Off-Limits!&id=2139993

  • Katie Baker

    Jimbo,
    Ugh, I knew the whole cutesy “make a sign” thing sounded too good to be true. If you give me the names of the businesses, I’ll write another article and see if I can get them in trouble. Email me at ask@sfappeal.com, if you would like.

  • Katie Baker

    Jimbo,
    Ugh, I knew the whole cutesy “make a sign” thing sounded too good to be true. If you give me the names of the businesses, I’ll write another article and see if I can get them in trouble. Email me at ask@sfappeal.com, if you would like.

  • Jimbo

    I’ll look at the pile of stuff when I get home and will email you separately with details. Shame them all!

  • Jimbo

    I’ll look at the pile of stuff when I get home and will email you separately with details. Shame them all!

  • PhilD

    @Jimbo
    You should just start shitting and pissing in the street as well. Dump all your garbage and recyclables right there, in the middle of the street. Just throw everything in to the middle of the street because who cares, right?

    Or you could just pretend you’re not a temper-tantrum-throwing infant and throw unwanted papers in a motherfucking bin.

  • PhilD

    @Jimbo
    You should just start shitting and pissing in the street as well. Dump all your garbage and recyclables right there, in the middle of the street. Just throw everything in to the middle of the street because who cares, right?

    Or you could just pretend you’re not a temper-tantrum-throwing infant and throw unwanted papers in a motherfucking bin.

  • Jimbo

    Hey PhilD – Not when I actually pay for my recycling service, as I do. I’m not going to take on responsibility for litter that other assholes put on my property despite my direct request not to do so. And I’m not going to put it in my neighbors’ bins because that’s illegal. So go fuck off.

  • Jimbo

    Hey PhilD – Not when I actually pay for my recycling service, as I do. I’m not going to take on responsibility for litter that other assholes put on my property despite my direct request not to do so. And I’m not going to put it in my neighbors’ bins because that’s illegal. So go fuck off.

  • PhilD

    @Jimbo

    That’s cool man, just keep on throwing garbage in the street to prove your righteousness. I’m sure you’re point is getting across loud and clear. What better way to honor neighbor, community and environment than by satisfying your own selfish sense of justice?

    It is whiny, self-obsessed clowns like yourself that make the rest of us wonder “why do I even try?”.

  • PhilD

    @Jimbo

    That’s cool man, just keep on throwing garbage in the street to prove your righteousness. I’m sure you’re point is getting across loud and clear. What better way to honor neighbor, community and environment than by satisfying your own selfish sense of justice?

    It is whiny, self-obsessed clowns like yourself that make the rest of us wonder “why do I even try?”.

  • Jimbo

    I didn’t know you were such a fan of shitty Chinese food menus and gardener flyers, Phil. Go right ahead and keep collecting them. Keep enabling the scumbags who pass these things out and the employers who exploit them for $4.00 an hour under the table. Maybe the people in whatever shithole part of the city you live in don’t care, but people in my neighborhood do. We in the civilized neighborhoods are sick of the crap on our doorsteps. That’s why we live on the Westside, because we don’t want it to look like the Mission. Maybe you’d like to come out and clean up for us?

  • Jimbo

    I didn’t know you were such a fan of shitty Chinese food menus and gardener flyers, Phil. Go right ahead and keep collecting them. Keep enabling the scumbags who pass these things out and the employers who exploit them for $4.00 an hour under the table. Maybe the people in whatever shithole part of the city you live in don’t care, but people in my neighborhood do. We in the civilized neighborhoods are sick of the crap on our doorsteps. That’s why we live on the Westside, because we don’t want it to look like the Mission. Maybe you’d like to come out and clean up for us?

  • PhilD

    Dude, Jimbo, you aren’t fighting the man by throwing paper in the street. These purveyors of take-out menus do not wander back, see you litter, and then repent! All you are doing is indulging your selfish sense of “justice” in order to make yourself feel better for suffering the great “injustice” of being given a menu. There are a lot of losers in this scenario (your neighbors, the environment) but the take-out restaurant is NOT one of them.

    Do your neighbors in your “civilized neighborhood” like you throwing litter in the street? Would you and they really rather have that crap in your streets and gutters (and eventually, the bay) instead of in a recycling bin?

    Why can’t you admit that throwing paper in the street is a juvenile act that accomplishes nothing?

  • PhilD

    Dude, Jimbo, you aren’t fighting the man by throwing paper in the street. These purveyors of take-out menus do not wander back, see you litter, and then repent! All you are doing is indulging your selfish sense of “justice” in order to make yourself feel better for suffering the great “injustice” of being given a menu. There are a lot of losers in this scenario (your neighbors, the environment) but the take-out restaurant is NOT one of them.

    Do your neighbors in your “civilized neighborhood” like you throwing litter in the street? Would you and they really rather have that crap in your streets and gutters (and eventually, the bay) instead of in a recycling bin?

    Why can’t you admit that throwing paper in the street is a juvenile act that accomplishes nothing?

  • Jimbo

    Phil, actually they HAVE seen me do it. I’ve confronted them about it. Many times. As I mentioned in one of my other comments, I’ve handed the flyers and other junk back to the distributor and told them not to leave them and that they were breaking the law. There was even one guy who saw me toss his litter back and STOPPED THE CAR TO TRY TO GIVE ME ANOTHER FLYER. All I get is a blank look from whatever pickup-driving tool is throwing them around the neighborhood. Clueless. Absolutely stupid and clueless. Yes, I’ll admit that throwing it back in the street is a little pointless… but why should it be on my property in the first place? Why should I have to put up with the crap on my porch? Maybe someone from the city would take a look at the garbage blowing around the street and say, “Gee, who do you think is responsible for this? Maybe… the guy whose number is printed on every one of the 200 copies of this crap?”

    And as for the environment… somehow I don’t think my throwing one piece of paper into the street is more destructive than the reams of paper used to print all this garbage (which just gets thrown out or blown away anyway), or the gas used to drive these things around. Some of these advertisers are even from outside of the City. I can’t believe it’s actually making anyone any money, apart from the distributors. No one uses menus and Yellow Pages to pick a restaurant anymore. It’s called the Internet, people… business owners should learn to advertise on it.

  • Jimbo

    Phil, actually they HAVE seen me do it. I’ve confronted them about it. Many times. As I mentioned in one of my other comments, I’ve handed the flyers and other junk back to the distributor and told them not to leave them and that they were breaking the law. There was even one guy who saw me toss his litter back and STOPPED THE CAR TO TRY TO GIVE ME ANOTHER FLYER. All I get is a blank look from whatever pickup-driving tool is throwing them around the neighborhood. Clueless. Absolutely stupid and clueless. Yes, I’ll admit that throwing it back in the street is a little pointless… but why should it be on my property in the first place? Why should I have to put up with the crap on my porch? Maybe someone from the city would take a look at the garbage blowing around the street and say, “Gee, who do you think is responsible for this? Maybe… the guy whose number is printed on every one of the 200 copies of this crap?”

    And as for the environment… somehow I don’t think my throwing one piece of paper into the street is more destructive than the reams of paper used to print all this garbage (which just gets thrown out or blown away anyway), or the gas used to drive these things around. Some of these advertisers are even from outside of the City. I can’t believe it’s actually making anyone any money, apart from the distributors. No one uses menus and Yellow Pages to pick a restaurant anymore. It’s called the Internet, people… business owners should learn to advertise on it.

  • ava8harrierusmc1

    Ok guys this is the 50 year old black guy here. You Phil and you Jimbo need to calm down for one and nuber two try to understand what each is saying about the problem and stop causing a problem between the two of you I mean if you read each others words it sounds like you two want to fight. Ok now thats said I remember the Handouts and I remember puting them in the trash it’s as simple as that. The hood crab has to stop you live in a city that is known around the world for being different if not fun wierd crazy and fucking cool all rolled up in one so no hood is better off then the other at least thats the way I remember it I remember when we chased the gangs from the hoods not no more it seems like everyone is out for themselfs now there and that worries me. So when the next earthquake happens and it will Phil and Jimbo will you say I’m not going to assist him because he doesn’t throw away his flyers like i do or are you going to work together like you should a solve the Fucking Problem dudes talk to each other not fight each other. Fight is the last thing on the list because once you fight you will keep on fighting and harm each. Later 50 year young guy I’m out of here for now

  • ava8harrierusmc1

    Ok guys this is the 50 year old black guy here. You Phil and you Jimbo need to calm down for one and nuber two try to understand what each is saying about the problem and stop causing a problem between the two of you I mean if you read each others words it sounds like you two want to fight. Ok now thats said I remember the Handouts and I remember puting them in the trash it’s as simple as that. The hood crab has to stop you live in a city that is known around the world for being different if not fun wierd crazy and fucking cool all rolled up in one so no hood is better off then the other at least thats the way I remember it I remember when we chased the gangs from the hoods not no more it seems like everyone is out for themselfs now there and that worries me. So when the next earthquake happens and it will Phil and Jimbo will you say I’m not going to assist him because he doesn’t throw away his flyers like i do or are you going to work together like you should a solve the Fucking Problem dudes talk to each other not fight each other. Fight is the last thing on the list because once you fight you will keep on fighting and harm each. Later 50 year young guy I’m out of here for now