Is it just a harmless piece of food or is it trash? It could be both and what are the legal ramifications if you get caught discarding something biodegradable on the side of the road?

You're driving down the road and you decide to have a healthy snack. Maybe you choose a banana or, since it's the fall season and this is New York, it's a fresh apple. What do you do once you're done eating it? Do you wait until you've reached your destination to throw it in a trash receptacle? Odds are, you do what most people do and throw it out of the window when no one is looking?

Who cares? Nature will take care of it, right?

There's a good reason that you may have felt guilty about tossing that apple core or banana peel on the ground.

Are you doing something wrong? More importantly, are you committing a crime?

Is this considered littering and could you be fined for it?

Man volunteer cleaning up the trash in park. Picking up rubbish outdoors. Ecology and environment concept

The short answer is... yes. You are littering even if the product is biodegradable. At the end of the day, it is still considered trash and that fits the definition of litter. Imagine if everyone did this?

Some wildlife experts believe it's also bad for the environment because it leads wild animals to the road for a meal.

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, littering in New York can result in a hefty penalty

In New York, your first littering offense could lead to a fine of up to $350 and a requirement to perform public services for 10 hours. The second offense could bring a fine of up to $700 and a requirement to perform services for 15 hours.

Will you get a ticket for throwing food out of your car? It's hard to say, but a law enforcement officer could so it might be wise to avoid it.

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