Illegal Signs Initiative

Did you know that it is illegal in Philadelphia to post or pay someone to post a sign on a streetlight, utility pole, traffic sign, historical marker, or street tree?

The penalty for posting these signs is $300 per sign for the first offense and up to $2,000 per sign for the second offense. Failure to pay or continued violations can result in revocation of your commercial activity license. The City of Philadelphia values our business community and our arts community. What we don’t value is litter in our public spaces.

These signs often end up as litter, and a littered community is bad for residents and bad for business. That’s why we need the business and arts communities to be our partners. You can ensure that these signs are not being posted on streetlights, utility poles, traffic signs, historical markers, and street trees.

Stay Tuned: Coming soon to this page will be best practices for hanging public signs in Philadelphia. We are currently holding community meetings on this issue and want to hear proactive ideas from the business community on how to eliminate litter while still being able to advertise in the community. Please send your great ideas to

Bandit Signs Brigade

This initiative will only be successful with the help of community partners working on the ground to remove illegal signs throughout the city. Through this program, we are working to provide community groups with the resources they need to remove illegal signs.

Illegal Signs Roundup (June 1st – June 15th, 2018)

This June, the City will be holding an illegal signs roundup, offering community groups $0.50 per sign up to $250 (or 500 signs) to remove illegal signs posted in the right of way throughout the city. Our hope is that community groups use these funds to purchase new supplies for cleaning and greening Philadelphia neighborhoods. The roundup will take place from June 1st to June 15th.

If your organization is interested in participating in this effort, please fill out this form before May 1st, 2018. Participation will be open to the first 40 groups to register. After you submit your form, the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet will be in touch with confirmation and details. In order to participate, your organization either needs to be a 501(c)(3) or be affiliated with a registered community organization or other community-based entity and will need to complete a participant agreement form.

With your help, we can create a cleaner Philadelphia for all. Thank you for being our partner in making Philadelphia a cleaner city.


If you have a questions about the Illegal Signs Initative, contact us at

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