Man fined $2k for recycling plastic bottles

October 20, 2010 2:19:08 PM PDT
A man was fined $2,000 by the city for recycling plastic bottles from the customers on his paper delivery route.

"The ladies and gentlemen, still put them out for me," Anthony McCorkle said.

The garbage bags stuffed with glass and plastic bottles add roughly $30 to Anthony McCorkle's weekly household income.

That's huge for him.

"I take and I use that either towards the gas bills, the light bills or something," McCorkle said.

While the 42-year-old has been trying to land a full time job, he double dips on his paper route, by also collecting the recycling for his customers.

"I started doing it now because the customers on my route were giving away their bottles," McCorkle said.

Two weeks ago, McCorkle was using his brother's car for his route, when he was stopped by a Sanitation Department Officer.

The officer issued him a $2,000 ticket for both him and his brother for unauthorized removal of residential recycling.

They also confiscated the car.

"I asked him, 'I can't pick up the bottles?' He said 'no, you can't pick up the bottles and put them in your car.' He kept emphasizing, how you can't put it in your car. So I was expecting them to give me a ticket. I wasn't expecting them to take the car."

City law states, "Except for an authorized employee of the DSNY, it shall be unlawful for any person to transport by motor vehicle any amount of recyclable material placed out at curbside. Penalties include a fine and vehicle impoundment."

"I'm not making $2,000 in a whole year of doing recycling," McCorkle said.

So, McCorkle went back to his customers and got written permission to remove their recycling.

He presented the petition in a hearing Tuesday, and his supporters hope it's enough to get the fine tossed out.

"You're going to stop him from taking care of his family? That's ridiculous. That's beyond ridiculous," said Delores Hughes, a West Brighton resident.