Literal Dumpster Fire Cost a New York Man Thousands
There's plenty of metaphorical dumpster fires in New York: traffic after a fender-bender on the Newburgh Beacon Bridge, the crowds of leaf-peeping tourists each fall, or when your uncle decides to ask everybody who they voted for over Thanksgiving dinner. Finally, we can add a real one to the list.
Literal Dumpster Fire in New York
File this under "things we couldn't make up if we tried", but there was a literal -and illegal- dumpster fire in upstate New York that ended up costing the perpetrator thousands of dollars. It all started when an Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) spotted smoke.
"While on patrol... ECO Willson spotted smoke in the distance... Officers identified the smoke as coming from a local business and responded", began a report from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). That's when things got heated (pun fully intended):
When ECO Willson advised the property owner of the laws preventing the burning of solid waste, the man questioned the definition of "solid waste." The subject also objected to the Officer being on his property without a warrant.
The NYS DEC went on to elaborate to the property owner that "no warrant is required for the enforcement of a violation committed in plain view", and fined them nearly $4,000. So what can you burn?
What Can You Burn in New York?
There are only a few things that can actually be burned in New York, and none will come as a surprise. Campfires, small bonfires, and "small cooking fires" are allowed, as well as charcoal burning. In smaller cities (populations under 20,000), small tree branches may be burned, just not in March April, or May. Burning leaf piles is never allowed. See the full list here.