In New York City, one man’s junk is now that same man’s fine.
Need a coffee table in New York City? Trolling the streets for a free one used to be your best bet. Dubbed “freecycling,” the tradition of leaving your unwanted furniture, books, decor, etc. on street for someone else used to be a mark of neighborly kindness. But that may be changing.
The Department of Sanitation will issue fines for those residents putting their unwanted items on the street, and New Yorkers are in a tizzy over it. The uproar started after The Daily News ran an article this week about a Park Slope man who was fined $100 for putting a dresser on the curb.
“The reasoning behind this rule is if bulk items are put out for a day that is not their normal pickup, it could become a sidewalk obstruction when not picked up,” said DSNY spokesman Matthew Lipani, in a statement emailed to Earth911.
Under DSNY regulation, a person can put out up to six bulk items on collection day. Piled items above this amount, or goods left out on days without trash pickup are subject to a fine. Both sanitation supervisors and enforcement agents can issue the summons. According to Lipani, “Both will write what they see.”
Lipani didn’t discourage the idea of New Yorkers participating in the freecycling routine. He recommended that instead of leaving items at the curb, residents should donate them through the NYC Stuff Exchange, a database of local organizations and shops where residents can donate, buy or sell gently used goods.