Worcester Looks To Fight Against Advertising ‘Pollution’

By David Wade

WORCESTER (CBS) — City leaders say they are trying to keep Worcester beautiful by cracking down on businesses that put up ads and flyers on poles and trees.

The plan is to hit them where it hurts, right in the wallet.

The signs are on the agenda for the Worcester City Council, a debate spurred primarily because of a crop of signs from a painting company that has popped up.  They even had one on display during their last meeting.

powerpaintingworcestersign Worcester Looks To Fight Against Advertising Pollution

A Powers Painting sign is used as an example at a City Council meeting.
(Photo Courtesy of Worcester City Council)

“One that really irritated me, they actually nailed a sign up at a local park on a tree.  Of course, they’ve done it throughout the city,” said Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney.

He called the signs visual pollution. “Just because you nail your advertisement, or what I refer to as garbage, onto a tree doesn’t make it less pollution than throwing it in somebody’s yard or in a public park.”

The person who posts could be fined $300 for every sign, every day.

“The hope is to send a very clear message to others, not to do this.  I mean within reason. If you put a sign on a pole saying my cat is missing, okay.  Take it down after 2 weeks,” Gaffney said.

The Inspectional Services Dept. will contact companies that posted the advertisements, and if the signs aren’t removed, they could have to pay.

Gaffney explained, “If I were them I’d be out there today taking them down myself real quick, mitigating my damages. But I think it also sends a message to others to be responsible.”

WBZ-TV contacted the Worcester painting company that posted some of the signs in question but did not hear back.

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