It looks like the city is cracking down on the bottle and can collectors we all see roaming the streets on the Lower East Side and Chinatown.
Over the weekend, TLD reader David Perez Shadi sent use this photo from Friday afternoon, at the intersection of Grand and Orchard streets, along with this caption (which you can also see on his Instagram feed):
In Chinatown where I live I see a lot of elderly and poor Asian people collecting cans and bottles all day and night to make ends meet. They keep their shopping carts locked to street poles because they mostly live in walk ups too high to carry up and they do it so often that it makes life easier to lock up for a few hours while they rest. For the first time ever today I find New York city sanitation workers with bolt cutters clipping theirs carts off of poles and crushing them. No notice no warning, just discarding them. What’s up with that? Since when do sanitation (workers) decide what gets locked to a pole? This really pissed me off. I can’t stay quiet about this.
The Sanitation Department has been focusing in recent years on the theft of recyclables, including bottles, cans and paper. While it’s illegal to remove these types of items by car or truck, the city’s own web site states that the Sanitation Department does not act on complaints about “individuals on foot scavenging small quantities of recyclable material.” The issue of carts being chained to street signs and traffic signal poles is apparently.a different matter.