Freecycling Curbside Furniture Could Cost You Up to $2000 in New York City!

by , 04/28/11

Curb Alert, freecycling, Sanitation Department, Garbage fines

New Yorkers have had an unspoken tradition of freecycling for years. Walking down any city street, we often see items set up in “display” that are free for the taking. Perfectly usable books, furniture, clothing, purses that are meant for the garbage can be found on stoops and curbs, left because their former owners would rather see them put to re-use than in the trash. But now this tradition of anonymously passing along used furniture could face a fine — for both parties! The Department of Sanitation is fining those who place furniture on the curb and those who take it. What gives?

Curb Alert, freecycling, Sanitation Department, Garbage fines

It may not be a total surprise that the Department of Sanitation will issue fines to those who put furniture out on a non-trash day. Putting up to six items out the night before a trash pick-up is perfectly acceptable, but put out a nice dresser or couch before that in hopes that someone will take it could land a $100 to 300 fine taped to your front door.

What is even more unreasonable is the fine given to garbage pickers for taking furniture left on the street. Once a piece of furniture (or air conditioner, for example) is left on the street, it is officially considered city property. If you can lug that couch by hand, you may be abiding the law, but borrow a car to pick it up and you could be fined up to a whopping $2,000!

These fines seem hefty and unnecessary for the act of trying to re-use something instead of having it end up in a landfill. Let’s just hope the Sanitation Department doesn’t start trolling Craigslist “curb alerts” to fine their next victim!

Via Gothamist

Images © Numberstumper and © Brokentrinkets



  1. bebuggerishmentationally January 5, 2013 at 5:16 am
    bed bugs are people too trying to live a life and survive with their bed bug kids in nyc
  2. Duchess of Davenport March 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm
    Hi Lori, I was wondering if I could link to your story from my blog... I won't link if I don't hear back from you. Thanks! Duchess of Davenport
  3. GlamourDomme May 10, 2011 at 8:55 am
    What gives is not only the added burden to the trash collectors, but the spread of BEDBUGS, which currently plague NYC.
  4. JasminMC April 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm
    This is lame, NYC!