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NYC Sanitation Agents Look To Crack Down On Litter Basket Violations

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- New York City is trying to keep trash-tossing residents honest.

Litter baskets across the city read "no household trash" or "no business trash," along with a warning of a $100 fine for violation.

However, on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, so many people defied the ban that the local business improvement district invested in covers that limited the size of what could be placed in the can.

"It's a major problem because what happens is these baskets get filled by this household garbage and then there's no place for the litter and the litter ends up on the floor," Fran Vella-Marrone of Community Board 10 said.

The Sanitation Department has a platoon of enforcement agents tasked with enforcing litter basket laws. Their duties even include doing detective work on trash suspected of being illegally dumped.

"What the enforcement agent will do, occasionally, they'll come to a bag. They'll open up the bag and see if they can find something with an address and we try and address the situation," Sanitation supervisor Joe Delfino said.

During the past year, the Sanitation Department issued around 2,000 summonses for improper use of a city litter basket.

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