East Greenbush, N.Y. - A Walmart employee in New York claims he was fired for recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans in the store's parking lot, according the Albany Times Union newspaper. The man claims the store became upset because the man profited from the items in accordance with a New York State recycling program.
Thomas Smith, 52, of Albany, told the newspaper he was fired from his $9-an-hour job gathering shopping carts at the Walmart Supercenter in East Greenbush after he redeemed $5.10 from the bottles and cans he collected. In New York, consumers pay a small deposit in the price of some drinks. The cost is refunded when the items are returned to a recycling center or collection post.
Smith said he picked up garbage for more than two months. He claimed he was fired after he was unable to repay the $5.10.
A store manager refused to talk with the newspaper.
The initial story gained national attention. By Friday, it was trending on Facebook.
Tom Lomascolo, of Mooresville, NC, told the paper he intended to mail the man a check after seeing the story on Facebook.
The newspaper said anyone looking to support Smith can mail check to:
c/o The Center for Law and Justice
220 Green St.
Albany, NY 12202