One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – except in NYC

Have you ever replaced a large appliance or piece of furniture and wondered how the heck you’re going to get rid of the old one? In some places, you can’t just leave these things for the trash collector – they must be recycled. Here in Jacksonville, the city will pick these things up, but only on certain days and you have to call first. I have sometimes joked that it would be easier to put a price on it and leave it out front so someone can “steal” it.

This story points out another landmine of life in the “Big Apple.” Apparently one man’s trash is not another man’s treasure – it belongs to the city.

It’s something nearly everyone’s been tempted to do at least once. You see someone else’s throwaways on street and think — that would look nice in my place.

But as CBS 2 HD found out taking it could end up costing you big-time.

“As far as I knew it was a piece of garbage sitting on the curb,” Paul Lawrence said.

But what Lawrence didn’t know when he decided to pick up a discarded air conditioner sitting on the sidewalk in Middle Village, Queens is that once trash hits the curb, it’s technically city property.

And he was breaking the law.

“There was a lady here. I asked the lady can I take the air conditioner. She said go ahead take it. It’s garbage,” Lawrence said.

But not only was he fined $2,000 by a sanitation officer who watched him do it, the car he was driving was impounded.

And its owner — Lawrence’s Aunt, 73-year-old Margaret Colavita, was also slapped with a $2,000 fine.

Huh? WTF? Isn’t life difficult enough without this type of heavy handed enforcement bullshit?



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