Neighbors tell local newspaper to stop littering their streets

Some neighbors in Charlotte are putting their foot down. They say a local newspaper is littering their streets and turning a deaf ear to their complaints.

In the street, on the sidewalk, and even in a storm drain, Kherri Clements says she's seen the Charlotte Observer circulars everywhere, except where they’re supposed to be…in the newspaper receptacle under her mailbox.

"A complete rain washout and they all end up in gutters before anyone gets home to pick them up. It's a problem. We have newspaper receptacles for a reason. All other circulars find their way in there except the Charlotte Observer. Even the paid observers don't end up in the boxes. They end up on the ground," said Clements.

Natalie Allen says she sees it too in her neighborhood in Ballantyne.

"I would pass by my neighbors and see their papers sort of strewn about. I try to figure out whether or not I should put it on the grass, but then it could kill the grass. Sometimes I just pay it forward and put it in their mailbox which is where I think is the best place for it," said Allen.

But is it really litter? According to North Carolina law it's not. It says political pamphlets, newspapers, among other unsolicited printed material is protected by the constitution. This leaves neighbors to basically fend for themselves.

"After multiple emails and phone calls, I finally spoke with someone who should have the power to do something about it. Even though they agreed it's unsightly, they told me it's the population’s responsibility," said Clements.

We reached out to the Charlotte Observer about the complaint and they sent us this statement:

"Our expectation is for our independent contractors to deliver our publications in a manner that satisfies the homeowner and our customers.  When notified by any resident of an unsatisfactory placement, we address those issues on an individual basis."

The Observer told Fox 46 it expects those who make deliveries to put the paper in the driveway, yard, porch, or newspaper box if available.

"Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful" is an organization that encourages people to organize clean up days within their communities.