NYC fines broke man $2,000 for recycling cans

A broke Anthony McCorkle just found out the hard way that using your car when you pick up cans and bottles to collect is a serious crime.

According to the Gothamist

The Department of Sanitation intends to make an example of a Staten Island man who tried to horn in on their turf by collecting recyclables from benefactors along his paper route.

Some of his customers know he’s in a tough spot, and they let him take the recyclable bottles in the bins outside their residence. But McCorkle is not a trained Department of Sanitation worker, and on Friday morning he was busted with a car full of contraband.

No-nonsense sanitation enforcer Robert Barrows spotted the bottles and cans in McCorkle’s borther’s 1997 Hyundai and told the perp to “turn off the car and give me the keys.” McCorkle tells the Staten Island Advance that he replied, “It’s my brother’s car. I need the car to finish my paper route.” That’s probably the saddest combination of sentences we’ve heard all week, but Barrows was unfazed, and impounded the car, which McCorkle’s brother has to pay $120 to get back. And both brothers each face a maximum $2,000 fine.

You are allowed to pick up up bottles and cans as long as you are not using a motor vehicle. So if you’re walking, pushing a cart or on horseback it’s legal.

This is not the first time this happened.

Last July, Paul Lawrence was driving down the street in Queens when he saw an air conditioner sitting on the curb that someone threw out. He went up to the lady whom the air conditioner belonged to and she gave him permission to take it, saying “it’s garbage.”

Our ticket happy officials waited for him to load it into the trunk of his car, then told him he just committed a crime and slapped him with a $2,000 fine. They now tell him that his car is being impounded because it was used in the commission of a crime. Because his Aunt gave him permission to borrow her car, she is also guilty of a crime and they handed her a $2,000 fine.

After a large public outcry a judge threw those fines out.


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