While sitting at a traffic light recently, I glanced at the ground beside my car and was surprised to see an apple and a peach, half-eaten, laying beside the discarded cigarette butts and other junk that always seems to accumulate in that spot.

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As I watched, a bird hopped over to the fruit and began to peck away which made me wonder about the legality of littering fruit in New York and whether or not there are rules against it.

When it comes to littering, there are many misconceptions about what is legal and what is not. In New York, it is illegal to litter fruit or any other type of waste with no exceptions to the rule. Littering is considered a criminal offense and can result in serious penalties.

Littering laws in New York State have been implemented to keep public spaces clean, protect the environment, and prevent hazards caused by waste materials. Fruit may seem like a harmless item to discard, but it is important to dispose of it properly in designated trash bins or recycling receptacles.

The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law §1220 specifically addresses littering on highways and adjacent lands. The law imposes penalties for littering offenses, with a first-time offense resulting in fines of up to $350 or up to 10 hours of community service.

According to New York State, discarding waste materials, including fruit, in public spaces can have significant environmental consequences. Fruit and other organic matter can attract pests and bacteria, leading to health risks and unsanitary conditions. This is why it's essential to dispose of waste properly in designated trash bins or compostable receptacles.

So, the next time you're driving and finished with your fruit, remember that tossing it out, even if you're trying to provide wildlife with a snack, is illegal in New York.

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