City Plans to Impose $100 Fine on Curbside Christmas Tree Violators

The city says leftover tinsel, garland and ornaments impede the mulching process.

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    The city plans to start fining residents who fail to remove all the tinsel and ornaments from their Christmas trees before putting them out for recycling.

    Most New Yorkers are balking at the proposed $100 fine, which could be enforced if even one shiny piece of tinsel ends up on the curb. The city says a deterrent is necessary because gilded trees are much harder -- and therefore more costly -- to turn into mulch.

    The Sanitation Department collects about 150,000 trees annually.

    If officials discover a tree violation, they will be able to fine anyone they can -- a superintendent, apartment building owner, homeowner or the rogue tree owner himself, a spokeswoman told The New York Post, which first reported the fines.

    The proposed fines must be approved before the Environmental Control Board. A public hearing will be held next month, but some board members are already expressing opinions.

    Councilman Robert Jackson said the sanitation department has a valid point, but the Democrat argued some new residents may inadvertently break the rule for lack of awareness. And they shouldn't be punished so harshly for that.

    "I forget to take a few Christmas balls off the tree and you're going to fine me $100? How much are we going to hit people with fines? $100 is too much," Jackson told the Post.

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