BAY RIDGE - They litter streets, utility poles and buildings and Bay Ridge homeowners and businesses want unsightly illegal postings torn down.

"It is litter," complains Bob Howe, president of the Third Avenue Merchants Association. "They've got a mile of tape wrapped everywhere holding it up."

Residents say the sticky tape remains on utility poles once advertisements fall down. Homeowner Walter Dignon says the Department of Sanitation even ticketed him for a posting that fell near his property.

Some civic leaders are calling on the city to strictly enforce laws that are already in place against the illegal practice. The law calls for a fine of up to $200 for first-time violators, however, officials say it's difficult to track down perpetrators.

The Department of Sanitation says it has issued close to 7,000 summonses for the practice since the beginning of 2007.