Washington: In a bizarre case, a sanitation worker in the US state of Georgia has been jailed for 30 days for collecting rubbish too early in the morning, violating an ordinance aimed at keeping workers from waking up residents.
Kevin McGill, who works for Waste Management Inc, pleaded guilty to violating an ordinance in Sandy Springs, a famously wealthy suburb north of Atlanta, which bans collections prior to 7am.
The city of Sandy Springs says he violated an ordinance aimed at keeping workers from waking up residents.
The city solicitor said he has tried everything to get sanitation workers to stop coming to communities before 7 am.
The city solicitor said he has tried fining the companies they work for, but it does not work and so now he has decided to haul them off to jail. "The solicitor said it's automatic jail time. He didn't want to hear nothing I had to say. I said it's my first time," sanitation worker McGill told WSB-TV.
The Sandy Springs ordinance says sanitation workers must haul trash between the hours of 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening. McGill was cited for picking up trash just after 5 am one morning. When he went to court, chief prosecutor Bill Riley asked the judge to sentence him to 30 days in jail.
"I was stunned. I didn't know what to think. I was shocked," McGill said. Riley does not apologise for locking up sanitation workers.
"Fines don't seem to work. The only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail," Riley said. He said 911 lights up when trash haulers come before 7 am.
McGill, who did not have an attorney with him when he was sentenced, is serving his time on the weekend. His new attorney, however, is not convinced why he is being punished.
"Give him a warning. I mean he's the employee. He's not the employer. Sentencing him to jail is doing what?" attorney Kimberly Bandoh asked.
McGill reported to a local prison on Saturday after opting to serve his time on weekends so that he is still able to work and support his wife and two children.