De Blasio Reacts to Video of Sanitation Workers Throwing Out Produce, Says “It Makes No Sense”

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A video that went viral last week showed New York City sanitation workers throwing out mountains of perfectly good fruit and vegetables outside a Chinatown store — including thousands of dollars’ worth of Mandarin oranges, Chinese pears and other delicacies — after ticketing the shopkeeper for blocking the sidewalk.

The video clip that went viral was posted by Gershon Schlesinger of Williamsburg, CEO of ParCare Community Health Network, on his Facebook page and received over four million views. Mayor Bill de Blasio shared Schlesinger’s clip and told him that he ordered a directive to change New York City’s policy.

The New York Post reports that the garbage men dumped the produce on Feb. 3 after they were called to the East Broadway store – near the Williamsburg Bridge – by the NYPD, which cited the owner for unlicensed vending and sidewalk obstruction, according to police. Cops said he was a repeat offender and had owed $60,000 in fines.

But owner Mohammad Ullah, a 52-year-old father of six who lives in Brooklyn, told the Post that the officers never gave him a chance to move the boxes of fruit.

“The cop came and told me to move, so I started moving the boxes,” he said. “[hE] sits in his car and calls sanitation, then they come and take everything. He was watching me move the boxes and he still called men to take it away. It was like a robbery.”

Ullah said that they threw out 52 boxes of fresh cherries, as well as lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, grapefruit, Chinese pears and oranges.

He lost $8,300 of merchandise in one day.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said late last night that he would not stand for what was seen on the video.
“This makes no sense and cannot happen again,” the mayor wrote on Facebook. “City Hall is right now in the process of instructing all city agencies to donate, not destroy, usable food confiscated as part of an enforcement action. Further, they will compost any food products that aren’t edible. Anything short of this is senseless.”

The NYPD claimed that they are not permitted to give away food due to possible health risks.


{Andy Newscenter}


  1. “The NYPD claimed that they are not permitted to give away food due to possible health risks”

    This is why people HATE the NYPD! Who gives them the right to rule over us like a police state?! Where do you think City Harvest gets their fruits and vegetables from? This total waste of good food that could of easily fed so many struggling families, mine included! This wasn’t some sugared junk food. This was healthy G-d given food. Very upsetting video.

  2. Something is wrong here…and it’s not the NYPD. This man was told to move the boxes. Folks, the city has to have safety standards. Right????

    Are you seriously telling me the shopowner couldn’t move those 10 boxes or so in about 10 minutes? Those sanitation workers are making quick disposal as we watch.

    Somebody somewhere is lying, and I don’t think it’s the NYPD.


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