All Your Waste Are Belong to Us

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According to Gothamist, New York City's Department of Sanitation is rather possessive about beer bottles and margarine tubs.

Poor Anthony McCorkle is trying to make ends meet by delivering the Staten Island Advance [newspaper] with the help of his brother's Hyundai. 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.

It would be one thing if McCorkle had been swiping the recyclable stuff without permission from its owners. But it seems they were okay with it. Not to mention that, as Gothamist points out, it all would have been perfectly legal had McCorkle been collecting the stuff on foot or on a bicycle.

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  1. A guy with the title of “sanitation enforcer” can impound your car?

    1. If your title was “sanitation enforcer” you’d probably be a walking bottle of pent up rage ready to spew, too. . .

      1. I’m guessing the pent-up rage is a prerequisite for being named a “sanitation enforcer,” as is a cro-magnon physique and a (nick)name like “Knuckles” or “Rocko.”

  2. We run the numbers, we run the protection racket, and WE run the hookers. And don’t you forget it, punk!

    1. Yeah, I was thinking of how this would have played out on the Sopranos, and right about now the cops would be pulling the Hyundai out of the East River. Never mess with sanitation workers.

  3. If Robert Barrows caught a bullet in the fucking skull in this incident, I for one would have applauded.

    1. Cut him some slack. For a kid that got his lunch money stolen five days a week for 12 years, and who’s first girlfriend laughed at his small penis, he’s completely transformed his inadequacy into a necessary public service, instead of molesting collies, the other career choice his guidance counselor suggested. He particularly likes Tuesdays, because that’s the day he gets to monitor butt wiping at an out of the way public restroom in Central Park.

      1. He couldn’t make it into Parking Enforcement School, so he went for sanitation.

      2. I read somewhere that in his heart of hearts, he dreams of being a sheep ****er.

        1. HERDIST!

          1. Damn, need more coffee.

        2. The proper term is hoarder, and it’s a disease.

  4. Seriously, are we so fucking far gone that this kind of bullshit doesn’t faze the average citizen at all? How does this continue to happen? And how can these asshole enforcers take themselves seriously?

    1. As a ghetto dweller I can tell you there are two things that can easily get you killed. Crossing a gang member and crossing a cop.

      1. “”Crossing a gang member and crossing a cop.””

        Is that from the department of redundancy department?

  5. “Everything you see here, it’s mine: buy a drink, place a bet, ride the ferris wheel. If you steal from my men, you steal from me.”
    -Mayor Bloomberg

    1. Golf clap

    2. Mayor “Mucky” Bloomberg.

  6. This guy needs legal representation and someone to sue the city and DSNY.

    The law in question makes it illegal to take away recycables in a vehicle if and only if they have been left at the curbside…

    “…for collection or removal by DSNY.”

    If his customers told him to take their recycables, then the items in question were not at the curbside for collection or removal by DSNY.

    It’s a good thing I’m not a lawyer, or I would run off half-cocked over stupid shit like this basically 24/7.

    1. It will likey get thrown out for that reason. But not like he’ll get the money back from the car being impounded.

  7. 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.”

    Fuck you. You don’t have a badge and a gun, you can go fuck yourself sideways.

  8. I used to teach my children that violence was never the answer.

    I am a different person now.

    1. I used to teach my children that violence was never the answer.

      Oh, come on now, violence is sometimes the answer, especially when faced with violence.

      1. “I wonder what the city fathers of Hiroshima would say?”

        1. probably something like “We should not have used violence against all of East Asia and then again the US”

        2. nice Starship Troopers callout.

      2. If you’re being dragged into the bushes by a strange man, and you have the opportunity to kick him square in the face, remember, violence never solves anything.

  9. OT, But season appropriate:

    Feminist Halloween Costumes

    1. Thank you. We needed one of these, and sage has been falling down on this lately. From the link:

      60s style clothing, cut-throat attitude, skinny tie, (fake) cigarette, booze in glass on ice

      How utterly insufferable.

      1. A perfect opportunity to return to the whole “violence never solves anything” discussion. . .

    2. Radical, Militant Librarian

      Ha! LOL

      What about “Radical,Militant French Maid”?

    3. None of those are very Halloween-ey. What happened to dressing as something scary.

    4. I’m wondering for how many Feministing readers “Rachel Maddow” is more like daily wear than a Halloween costume.

      Adding 75 pounds, of course…

  10. trying to make ends meet by delivering the Staten Island Advance [newspaper]

    Garbage in, garbage out?

  11. Ummm, the recyclables belong to the people in the house. They can give them to anyone they want.

    I’m not much for lawyers or lawsuits, but this one just begs for slapping those arrogant bastards down for violating his rights.

    1. I would imagine this statute falls into the same bucket as the US Postal Service mailbox statute – you can’t put anything inside the mailbox that people have outside: it is a federal crime. That’s why you see a mailbox and a separate “newspaper box”. They’ve legislated “curbside container” as city property.

  12. “Sanitation enforcer” sounds like one of those $100k no-show jobs that NY/NJ are so famous for. This dolt actually showed up at his job. Clearly the Powers That Be are going to have a talk with him.

    1. I actually see a lot of Sanitation Police cars being driven around.

  13. 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.”

    I wonder if Mr. Barrows actually has the legal authority to seize property like this. If not, I believe he just carjacked that vehicle, which is a felony.

    Too bad the McCorkle’s don’t have the money to lawyer up. And, because they are working to support themselves, aren’t the sort that legal aid will want to take on.

    I believe there is a shitstorm coming for the Barrows of this world, driven not by their petty thuggery, but by their grand larceny in the form of bloated paychecks and pensions. That train is coming into the station, and when it arrives, there will be blood.

  14. Had he been a Police Officer or Federal Agent it would have been perfectly legit to steal all that trash. Without a warrant even.

    1. That’s the thing…they are police officers, gun-totin’ too. When Bob Falk (now living in Fla.) ran for Public Advocate (LP) in…uh…what year was that…one of the points he made was how many different, uniformed, gun-carrying police depts. NYC had. Like the Sanitation Police.

      A few of them have been consolidated since then.

  15. Balko, you’ve fucked up another weekend.

  16. The bottles contained BPA…

  17. I am biting at the bit to get out of the NYC region.

  18. It would be one thing if McCorkle had been swiping the recyclable stuff without permission from its owners.

    Once you put stuff out on the curb in a trash bin or a recycling bin it ceases to be your property, imho. As far as I know that’s been the law everywhere I’ve lived.

  19. Serves him right. Only highly-trained union people should be picking up recyclables. The externalities…

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