When I was a kid we had an old metal barrel in our backyard and I remember my grandmother burning leaves in that can every fall. I can still smell the smoke in the air and based on what I recall, you can probably still see it. Every once and a while she would throw a paper plate or two in there as well.

That was then and this is now. The New York State DEC will tell you that it is illegal, in all cases, to burn trash in New York State. You can also ask this guy, who didn't seem to believe it.

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This story goes back to October of 2021 when a Montgomery County resident was charged with the illegal disposal and burning of solid waste. According to New York State Environmental Officers, this person was allegedly burning waste material from a commercial scrapping business. Even worse, he left the fire unattended.

Officers conducted an investigation, which included conversations with the accused's neighbors. The scrapping business was located on the subjects property behind his house on Hickory Road in Mohawk, NY.


Following the investigation, the individual and business was ticketed for:

  • Unattended open fire
  • Illegal disposal of solid waste
  • Maintaining a noisome and unwholesome business on or near a highway

Here's the thing, the accused ignored the charges for at least one year and refused to appear in Mohawk Town Court. You know what happens then? The court issued a bench warrant for the defendant, forcing him to face the charges. The individual eventually accepted a plea offer:

  • One count of illegal disposal of solid waste
  • Fine of $1,590
  • The property is no longer used for commercial operations.

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