Should unsolicited newspapers & flyers be banned in Massachusetts?

There's a method to the madness in putting papers and flyers in peoples driveways

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Have you ever found papers or flyers in your driveway you just didn’t ask for?

“Actually, I just ran into that this morning. Go outside and right in my driveway there they are,” said Eddie Ortiz of Enfield, Connecticut. “I mean it really actually make the neighborhood look terrible. You know I have opened them once or twice. There’s never really anything interesting in there, it’s just trashing our neighborhoods and you know enough is enough it’s time for a stop.”

The Providence, Rhode Island City Council recently proposed an ordinance that would prohibit the unsolicited delivery of items, packages, or promotional materials by a for profit entity to a home and left outdoors.

There’s a method to the madness in putting papers and flyers in peoples driveways. It’s a marketing method that’s been used for decades but for homeowners it can also be a headache.

However, there’s also groups like the New England First Amendment Coalition that said it would restrict free speech and block the delivery of free newspapers.

Erica Clayton of Springfield said, “I can understand it from like a marketing point of view it does get kind of annoying when I have to sort through like 20 pieces of paper just to find my electric bill or something like that.”

Any materials delivered in violation of Providence’s proposed ordinance would be considered litter, and fines could be imposed on the deliverer.

Eddie Perez of Enfield, Connecticut said, “You know I’m not sure as going as far as fining people for it you know. But to be honest with you yea they should definitely try to crack down a little more on just wasting paper. It’s plastic, it’s actually hurting us more than it is helping us you know to be honest with you.”

The Providence City Council is working on amendments to the proposal to alleviate first amendment concerns.

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