NEW YORK—Saying it was conceivable that refuse-related abuses might arise at some point, officials from the American Civil Liberties Union emphasized at a press conference Thursday that it is perfectly legal to film garbage men anywhere in the United States if you ever happen to find yourself needing to do so. “No matter where you live in this country, there are no laws prohibiting you from recording workers collecting trash, be it yours or anyone else’s, should you at any point find this situation necessary to get on video,” said ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley, who stressed that while the sanitation workers might ask you to turn your camera off, it is well within your rights, if you ever end up in such circumstances for whatever reason, to politely refuse. “Not saying that you have to do this, or that you should do this, or anything like that—but just be aware that as long as you don’t antagonize them or interfere with their garbage collection, you can film them with your phones or cameras and they cannot legally confiscate your device or destroy any footage, supposing that’s something you deem to be an appropriate course of action.” Stanley added that, for what it’s worth, you can also film recycling employees if need be, but you should consult your individual state laws if you ever feel compelled to record scrap metal collectors.

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