Meadville Tribune

July 3, 2013

Meadville officials remind of signage, yard waste laws

By Mary Spicer
Special to the Tribune

MEADVILLE — The season for yard sales has arrived, but there’s never a season for attaching yard sale signs to public utility poles — or Meadville trees, for that matter.

That’s the word from Gary Johnson, the City of Meadville’s zoning administrator, who’s urging everyone living or working within the city limits to take pride in their surroundings.

When posting signs, the rules are simple: Don’t attach signs of any kind to poles or trees located in the public right-of-way, which includes sidewalks and the tree lawn spanning the space between sidewalk and roadway.

“Signs can be staked to the ground or placed on the ground,” Johnson said. “They just can’t be attached to a pole or a tree.” The courts, he added, can impose a penalty of up to $500 per day for violations.

And be sure to take them down in a timely manner once the event has passed. Yard sales, Johnson noted, are only allowed to take place in the same location on a maximum of seven days during each calendar year.

The request to take pride in the surroundings, however, doesn’t just apply to anyone notifying the immediate world that a special event is about to take place, according to Johnson, who noted that recent storms featuring high winds and torrential rains are a reminder of the importance of keeping branches, leaves, debris and accumulated dirt removed from the vicinity of both sidewalks and curbs. This, he stressed, is a matter of both aesthetics and good stormwater management.

Yard waste — which includes leaves, branches and tree limbs less than 4 inches in diameter, brush that will fit in the bag, plants, flowers, roots, shrubs, prunings and sawdust — is collected every other week from April through November as part of Meadville’s refuse and recycling program.

Yard waste will only be picked up in paper grocery bags or biodegradable paper bags, which, according to the city’s website, are available at several local retail establishments. All bags should be taped or tied shut to prevent spillage. Check the refuse and recycling calendar available under “City Services” on for complete rules governing yard waste and to determine which week to place it curbside for collection.

Yard waste does not include loose soil or sod, kitchen food waste, garden or orchard food waste, pet droppings or kitty litter, tree stumps, limbs over 4 inches in diameter — and anything packed in non-biodegradable bags.

Grass clippings, which are not considered yard waste, should be treated as refuse and included in the refuse cart.

Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at