Unwanted Handbills and Newspapers
Newspapers on your sidewalk or handbills attached to your property can be a nuisance leading to neighborhood litter and sidewalk trash. There are city codes in place to help prevent the problem of unsolicited pamphlets and unwanted newspapers.
Handbills on Private Premises
A 'handbill' can be any type of pamphlet, booklet, card, or any other kind of printed literature, such as a menu or advertisement for services. If residents do not want handbills on their premises and take the proper steps to stop them, then the delivery of handbills is prohibited. Any person who violates the provisions of the Handbill Ordinance can be fined up to $250. Please note, the law applies to handbills, and not the delivery of newspapers. To report problems call 311 or fill out an online service request.
How to stop deliveries of handbills
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. Sample pdf. If a sign is posted, it is illegal to distribute handbills anywhere on your property, including your porch, yard, steps, hallway, or mailbox.
You may also contact other newspapers directly to request that they suspend delivery to your home.
To report problems call 311 or fill out a 311 online service request.
Public Nuisances: Litter and the Police Codes
The City's Police Code outlines the regulations against littering in San Francisco. Article 1, Sections 33 and 34. It is illegal to throw or sweep trash onto sidewalks, streets and curbs. This includes paper, cards, newspapers, dirt or any debris. It is also illegal to sweep litter from the sidewalk into the curb or street. Property owners are legally responsible for keeping their sidewalks clean.
Members of the public may post information on public property if the postings follow the rules and regulations outlined within Article 5.6 of the Public Works Code. Signs are allowed on City poles as defined by the code, and postings are prohibited on traffic poles, buildings, MUNI shelters, traffic control boxes, and other public property prohibited by the code. The regulation was adopted to ensure postings do not contribute to visual pollution or urban blight. Read more about posting signs.
Stop Junk Mail
Learn more about stopping junk mail from being delivered to your address. It's good to recycle junk mail. It's even better to stop getting it. Read about SF Environment's campaign to stop junk mail.