Recycling Theft

Recycling scavengerBy Anne Noyes

One night last fall Carmen Cognetta was driving in search of a parking spot in the East 90s but kept getting held up by slow-moving trucks in front of him. The trucks were lurching down side streets, stopping every few yards to allow their passengers to jump out and pick up huge bundles of paper and cardboard that had been placed curbside for recycling.

Cognetta, who serves as counsel to the City Council’s Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee, knew the trucks weren’t supposed to be taking the paper. By law, the City of New York Department of Sanitation owns all recyclables that have been placed on the curb for pickup.

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