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.

2019 Illegal Signs RoundupRegistration Now Open!

This June, the City of Philadelphia will be offering local 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. The roundup will take place from June 15 to June 29, 2019. In order to participate, your community 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. Participation will be open to the first 20 groups to register.

2018 Illegal Signs Roundup Gallery

In June of 2018, the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet held its first Illegal Signs Roundup, where 24 community groups across the city collected over 8,000 illegal signs posted in the public right-of-way! View photos from the Roundup below.

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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