Brookhaven Town kicked off Earth Day by touting the 10,000 pounds of illegal signs it has removed from utility poles and public rights of way over the past two weeks.
"It has never been legal in the Town of Brookhaven to post signs on either utility poles or the public rights of way," Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said at a news conference outside Town Hall Tuesday morning.
"Roadway litter has no place in the Town of Brookhaven," he said. "We feel this is keeping with the spirit of Earth Day. We want a clean town."
Earth Day, an environmental awareness celebration, is celebrated every April 22.
Brookhaven recently strengthened town codes regulating signs, including political posters that remain along town roads after Election Day. The measure also applies to advertisements and signs posted on utility poles. Town workers removed more than 10,000 illegal signs last year.
At the news conference, Romaine announced that on May 17 various groups will conduct a townwide litter cleanup and he said the municipality plans to work with school districts to promote recycling. He added that the town is looking to use the symbol of a bear cub to encourage community cleanup efforts.
Illegal signs of all shapes and sizes lay flat on top each other in the south parking lot of Town Hall during the news conference. A red and white sign read: "Now hiring." Another read: "Wine & liquors now open."
Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro said having a clean town is a priority and that fewer illegal signs and less litter allow work crews to focus on other town needs.
"Most of the calls we receive are quality of life complaints" and nobody is allowed to put signs in the public rights of way, said Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico, warning local establishments to remove illegal signs.
"Business owners, don't waste your money buying these just to put them in the public rights of way. They're going to be taken," he added.