[Hannah]: Garbage collecting and the Mafia
Seen on Slate: "Why does the Mafia get involved in hauling garbage?"
This reminded me of when I was a kid. I remember Ma musing over the puzzling fact that our garbage collectors would sometimes go years without billing us.
Criminal organizations elsewhere in the world also find profit in trash schemes. In parts of Taiwan, gangs dig into the riverbank for gravel and sell it to construction companies. Then, they fill up the holes with waste they've collected. Georgian crime bosses swooped in when the city of Tbilisi privatized waste transport (PDF). In New York City, La Cosa Nostra more or less dominated trash collection from the 1950s until Rudy Giuliani seized control of the industry as mayor in the 1990s.
Still, it beats me what any mafia would have wanted with our rural route.