LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's a sign of a growing problem in Lufkin.
Area businesses, churches, and even your neighbors may be responsible for the massive amount of litter along city streets.
Garage sale notices, advertisements, and even lost pet signs are stacking up.
Roughly 150 have been collected just this week.
They're posted illegally along Lufkin streets and city officers say signs are a huge part of a growing litter problem.
"The city ordinance makes it illegal to use the right of ways or utility poles for advertisement using portable off premise signage," said director of inspection services Dale Allred.
What seems like free advertising could end up costing businesses, churches, and your neighbors, through fines.
The city's message: advertising isn't free.
"It is an unfair advantage," said Allred. "The only way you can put up a sign is if it's an on-premise sign. The sign would have to be located at the place where the business is being conducted."
Clearly, not everyone gets it.
This week, code enforcement officers are cracking down. One by one, these signs are getting trashed.
Code enforcement officers have a stern warning.
"It is a misdemeanor and if charges are filed, it could be up to $500 per a sign per a day," said Allred.
He says these signs often become roadside waste.
"Most of the time these signs get put out and they're not maintained and they end up becoming in poor condition."
Allred calls these signs "roadside litter" and says they don't belong on our roadways.
They are also a safety hazard.
"If they're posted in the right of way, you can't see around them," explained code enforcement officer Jan Porter. "Recently they've started putting the signs up higher on utility poles which makes them very difficult for us to reach."
No charges have been filed yet.
The city is giving people a chance to take their signs down now, before they're slapped with a hefty fine.
Campaign posters are not included in the ordinance. However, they cannot be posted along the right of way.
For a closer look at the ordinance and for information on where you are allowed to advertise, you can check out inspection services located at the city's website: http://cityoflufkin.com/is/codeenforcement.htm.