JEFFERSON PARISH - If you live in Jefferson Parish and are annoyed by the free community papers thrown on your property, there's a solution. An online sign-up was created to let residents choose if they want the paper tossed or not.
Walk down most streets in Jefferson Parish and you'll probably see at least one free community paper on the ground. Something some say is a nuisance.
"I think it's a waste of money," Terry Mipro said. "A waste of money to produce them and nobody is really reading them."
"It's just like someone throwing litter on your lawn," Glenn Marks said. "If I was picking it up and reading it, it'd be one thing. But we're not. We canceled our newspaper subscription years ago and we don't want the paper but yet it still comes."
Less content than a typical paper, they include coupons and stories from around the area. Some though say it's delivered so often, they don't even look at it.
"I grab two or three if not more off my lawn and throw them in the recycle bin," Marks said.
Jefferson Parish Council members have come up with a way to help stop people from getting these papers. Something they're calling the 'Do Not Toss' list.
"We sat down with the Times-Picayune, we sat with The Advocate, we even talked with the Yellow Pages and they did help us figure out a path forward that was a win-win for everybody," said Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken.
The solution, created by Van Vrancken, lets residents choose what's delivered. They just have to sign-up on the Parish website.
"Put your name and address and what publications you don't want to receive, or tossed on your lawn," she said. "They can still bring it to your door, bring it to you another way, hand it to you, this just means that you're saying I prefer not to have it tossed on my lawn."
Peter Kovacs, an editor for The New Orleans Advocate, said he believes his papers provide a great service.
"We distribute tens of thousands of weekly newspapers in Jefferson Parish," he said in a statement given to WWL-TV. "We know they are appreciated because we hear from schools and churches and civic clubs who ask us to print their news."
Taking about eight months to create, Van Vrancken feels the product that lets customers 'opt out' is a win for all.
"This really was one of those things that residents have been asking for," she added. "It wasn't an easy one to tackle but I think we found a path that's fair."
While some people like to receive community news, others are worried about safety. For example, when they go out of town and the papers pile up in front of their yard. Also, Van Vrancken says the elderly can sometimes have trouble getting the papers from their lawn, and if not picked up and a heavy rain comes, the papers may clog storm drains.
Those we spoke with (on and off camera) were excited about hearing of the online sign-up, many ready to sign up themselves.
"I would be all for it," Marks said.
"That's good to do," Mipro said. "It's the whole neighborhood, I see them out here thrown all the time."
The paper won't be tossed, but it could still get to your house, depending on whoever is delivering it. They could hand it to you, put it close to your front door, or through a mail slot. If the paper continues to be tossed or another violation is found, a $500 fine is also possible.
"For those who don't enjoy the product, we are more than happy to stop delivering it," said Kovacs.