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Proposed Law Aims to Tackle Las Vegas Strip Litter | News

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Proposed Law Aims to Tackle Las Vegas Strip Litter
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LAS VEGAS -- Clark County commissioners are considering a law requiring people giving out handbills and pamphlets on the Las Vegas Strip to clean up the items from sidewalks and storm drains. The law is directed at the so-called "smut peddlers."

They are easy to spot all along the Las Vegas Strip. The card slapping workers try to get advertisements -- with pictures of scantily-clad woman -- into the hands of prospective customers. In many cases, the ads end up as litter on the sidewalk. 

"I feel that it's inappropriate," said tourist Brittany States.

"Every card people get, they pretty much throw them away," said Joel King, who is visiting Las Vegas.

The trash left behind falls into the hands of property managers.

"On a yearly basis, we'll spend $7,000 to $10,000 on average, picking up their trash that they litter on our properties," said Michael McKarson, operations manager for Urban Retail Properties. He runs several properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

"It's very frustrating when I pull up in the morning at 6 or 7 and you just see this stuff scattered everywhere, and you know you have your hands full, just cleaning up after these people," he said.

County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly has heard the complaints and is working on a solution.

"I think that if we don't get some type of handle on the problem, the destination could become a mess, and that's what we are trying to avoid," Weekly said.

The proposed ordinance is very specific. If it passes, any cards dropped on the street must be picked up by the peddler within 50 feet in all directions.

"If they pass the ordinance, again, I don't know how the hell they are going to enforce it," said general counsel Allen Lichtenstein, ACLU Nevada.

He says the three page ordinance is vague when it comes to enforcement.

"So am I supposed to police only the things that I handed out, or the stuff that you handed out, or other people down the block, or what?"

Commissioners say the details still need to be ironed out but want to make sure the Strip is clean for everyone. The ordinance is expected to be discussed at Tuesday's meeting.

Littering is already a misdemeanor offense but this ordinance would make the peddler responsible.

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