News: Why It’s Illegal to Use Milk Crates…

Why It’s Illegal to Use Milk Crates for Anything Besides Milk
By Andrew Jenner on August 28, 2013

For the past five or so years, I’ve had a three-bin system going in my mudroom to separate my recyclables. There’s one for #1 and #2 plastics, one for #3 and up plastics and one for paper and cardboard, as necessitated by the convoluted and piecemeal recycling program where I live. Three red milk crates do the trick perfectly — conveniently sized, movable, stackable and indestructible.

I have no idea where, when or how I acquired them. Like the mismatched plates and glasses in my cupboard, they’re a product of household agglomeration over a decade of post-college moving, roommate-swapping, getting married, and the other assorted vagaries of domestic living. Regardless, these milk crates make for great recycling bins, and so it was with shock and amusement that I would occasionally stop to read the stern warning printed on the side:

“Unauthorized use of milk cases illegal. Fine of $300 or imprisonment up to 90 days, Pennsylvania Law Act No. 37 1987.”

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