Brain Trust: Explain To Us How All Of These Menus We Keep Getting Are Legal

chinese menuIs it just us, or has there been an extreme tidal wave of random menus and restaurant fliers being shoved into every possible crevice in our front doors lately? It’s hard to even fathom that there are this many Chinese Food/Pizza/Hoagie Places within a twenty-block radius of our apartments to generate such a maelstrom of take-out menus. The menus from pizza places are especially obnoxious, since every single one essentially has the same menu items, just a different-colored font. On the one hand, we understand that local businesses are going through a slump during the recession and that this is a relatively inexpensive means of advertising, but on the other hand, it is super wasteful and annoying. Not only that, but it also adds to the disgusting garbage tumbleweeds that roll through the streets of Philadelphia, eventually landing in a grimy puddle on the corner and making everything look even more polluted. We dialed up our friends at “311″, the Philly Information Hotline, to ask if this practice is legal and they informed us that as long as these organizations have a permit, they’re allowed to go door to door with their leaflets. They also helpfully noted that we could report any restaurant’s address and find out if they had obtained said permit, but otherwise we just have to suffer. So we ask – is this a problem all over the city, or has Fishtown been hit extra hard?  Have you found any creative ways to dispose of these menus?

  • NOpe

    You need to get a “No-Circular Property” sticker from L&I. They are not allowed to leave menus on properties that post them, and if they do you can get them fined. They work. Tell your neighbors.

  • Ben

    Definitely a problem in South Philly. I need one of those stickers. I always wondered if they worked.

    On a related note, how do I stop getting the damn phonebook??

  • mike is the link for the stickers, and I have heard that they do work (though I’m consistently too lazy to fill out the form & get one for myself, of course).

  • jason

    Thanks Mike! I’ve seen some places with those stickers and was wondering where to get one.

  • Jim

    I can definitely vouch for them working. occasionally i still receive flyers but they usually skip my house in south philly. you can fax offending circulars to a number so the businesses are fined, though i haven’t had the motivation to do that yet.

  • rob

    the worst thing about it is that we order frequently from all the restaurants that continually drop these off. we obviously dont need the menus. if only the restaurants told their pamphleteers to not give certain addresses menus

  • Jim

    You should actually be able to request no-circular decal from 311, even though it sounds like some of the operators aren’t even aware of them. hard to blame them — there’s not even a link to it on L&I’s website.

  • Felicia

    Argh I HATE these things. They usually go straight into my recycling bin, but when I get the Chinese menus that are printed in red text on that thin white paper, with the four-color photos of the various dishes, I use them for wrapping presents, tied with a red string.

    Suburban relatives find this charming.

  • really?

    I love take out menus. I could spend an entire evening with a glass of wine poring over every fuzzy picture of an italian hoagie and dreaming of 3 dollar breakfast with beef scrapple from a pizza place.

    This really doesn’t seem like a problem to me.
    Don’t really understand this war against things printed on paper.

  • Santa

    “No-Circular Property” sticker from L&I does NOT work here in Queen Village. Since posting mine, the junk hasn’t decreased at all. Maybe it’s time to start filing complaints with L&I. The question is what kind of retribution can I expect after they get fined?

  • daytime drinker

    BEN I was wondering the same thing. what about the damn yellowpages??
    with the google app for iphone i dont even have to type
    who uses these wastes of paper anymore??

  • Jen

    I’m thinking about collecting all the fliers I get and all those I see blowing down my street for a few weeks, and then send them all to City Council.

  • NOpe

    I’m surprised someone said their sticker doesn’t work. Mine does beautifully. If you do get flyers, you need to report it. Fax a copy of the menu with the date of delivery, time you received it and address it was delivered to L&I at 215-685-3733. They do actually get fined- but only if you report it.

  • really?

    25 years from now when you can’t go outside and have a plug coming out of your forehead, forcing into your brain every 30 seconds you’ll be begging for newspapers and menus to come back

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