Should you be responsible for litter with your name on it?

Last week, Philadelphia Weekly blogged about Fred Treiber, the owner of a sporting goods company called Sports Paradise, who had received a $150 trash violation because trash with his company's name on it was found in Philadelphia.

Only thing is, Sports Paradise is in Willingboro, N.J. (there's also one in Harrisburg and Medford, N.J.). Treiber was pretty angry. He said he wasn't sure how that trash had gotten to Philly, but that he shouldn't be responsible for it.

"It is like saying every Coke can you are going to fine Coke, or every Marlboro butt you are going to fine Marlboro," he wrote in a letter to Mayor Nutter that he posted on Ripoff Report.

He later asked Help Desk, what if that trash had flown out of a garbage truck?

"It's idiotic," he said.

We called the Streets Department, whose SWEEP officers issue trash violations, to see if this is standard policy. It is. Spokeswoman Keisha McCarty-Skelton explained that if a SWEEP officer is able to find many pieces of trash with a clear name and address, whether it's a business or an individual, he will ticket you.

As for Treiber's particular case, he got lucky (if you want to call it that): After checking out the violation photos (SWEEP officers take photos of trash that they ticket) and speaking with the ticketing officer, the department decided to revoke the ticket, McCarty-Skelton said.

 The reason for the revocation? Though the ticketing officer says there were numerous pieces of trash with Sports Paradise's name and address on it, the officer only took a picture of one piece of trash. That's not enough to warrant a ticket, McCarty-Skelton said. There must be an "abundance" of trash, she said.

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