Alleged dumping caught on phone camera
Not even a back alley deal for dirty garbage is safe in today's world of ubiquitous cellphone cameras.
Someone in the Back Bay snapped several photographs last week of a construction crew tossing demolition debris into a residential garbage truck operated by Capitol Waste Services. An e-mail and a few hours later, city inspectors had impounded the illegal trash and issued fines totaling more than $16,000, and the driver of the garbage truck had been suspended.
The photographs sent to the mayor's complaint hot line were almost indisputable. In an alley near the Public Garden on Thursday afternoon, a blue pickup brimming with construction debris had backed up to a yellow garbage truck. Two men could be seen tossing black bags into the hopper of the garbage truck.
Capitol Waste's contract with the city stipulates that it haul only residential trash. City officials said that in the past, construction workers have illegally paid garbage truck drivers - including $200 in one case in Allston in June 2007 - to take plaster, wood, and other illicit commercial rubbish. Officials have not determined whether cash exchanged hands in this case.
With the license plate visible in the photographs, inspectors located the pickup. The owner, Anthony Giardinella, 43, was fined $3,200. Under its contract, Capitol Waste will have to pay $13,500, said Dennis Royer, the city's chief of public works and transportation. Neither Giardinella nor the company returned phone messages yesterday seeking comment.
"If you know you are doing something wrong, don't do it," said Michael B. Mackan, chief of inspectional services. "In the City of Boston, the public is aware."