INWOOD, NY (WPIX)—In fifty years of living in Manhattan, 80-year-old Delia Gluckin has never been fined for throwing anything into a city trash can -- until last Sunday.
Gluckin, of Inwood, left her house in a hurry to meet a friend downtown and took her morning paper with her instead of recycling at home. She was almost at the subway station when she spotted a receptacle and dropped in a plastic bag holding the newspaper and an empty Canola bottle.
An enforcement agent from the Sanitation Dept. immediately hurried over and informed her of her crime -- throwing out "household items" in a city can designated strictly for litter. It wasn't a warning, however, the agent wrote Gluckin a $100 ticket.
"I said, 'Look ma'am, I'm a senior citizen, I've never had a problem, never paid any fees at all, can't you give me a break?" Gluckin pleaded. Gluckin, who lives on social security, even offered to take the trash out and bring it with her, but it was also for naught.
"I think it's a harassment and I think they were looking to make a quota," said Gluckin.
The Department of Sanitation is apparently looking for new ways to prevent overflowing trash cans -- an especially common sight during the morning subway rush.
This is not the only recent story of New York services squeezing residents in tough economic times -- Bayside Queens residents recently found out they had been paying street cleaning tickets for parking on a street that hadn't been cleaned by the city for years. The Department of Transportation maintains that all fines issued must be paid.
A Brooklyn man says he plans on suing the city after being ticketed and jailed for writing with sidewalk chalk on the pavement.
And Greg Mocker went out to Queens to find out why residents have recently been fined mercilessly for tiny cracks in the sidewalk in front of their houses.