Update: History of Mob's Stranglehold on Waste Biz

Pappa Smurf was nickname of mobster who allegedly ran trash.
From Waste & Recycling News: Mobsters were exerting control over a portion of the greater New York City trash industry for years, alleged federal authorities as they revealed dozens of arrests in busting up the racket.

Charges against 32 people were unveiled in a case handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Westchester County (N.Y.) Police Department. Alleged members of three crime families of La Cosa Nostra, including alleged Mafiosos with nicknames such as "Papa Smurf," "Muzzy" and "Tony Lodi," are facing charges.

Preet Bharara is U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and used particularly colorful language [in the press release] to describe the impact of the mob on the trash business in certain areas.

"As alleged, organized crime still wraps its tentacles around industries it has fed off for decades, but law enforcement continues to pry loose its grip," Bharara said in a statement. "Organized crime insinuated itself into the waste disposal industry throughout a vast swath of counties in New York and New Jersey."

The trash business has had a storied history of mob influence and has fought long and hard against the stereotype of corruption within its ranks. The illegal activity happened from at least March 2009 up to April 2012, one indictment in the case indicates.

Bharara described what he called a "painstaking, multi-year investigation" which revealed mobsters hiding behind "seemingly legitimate owners of waste disposal businesses." The federal government alleges members of the Gambino, Genovese and Luchese crime families all had a hand in the dirty work.

"The tactics they used to exert and maintain their control come right out of the mafia playbook — extortion, intimidation and threats of violence," he continued in the statement.

A trade group representing privately owned solid waste management companies in the country was quick to distance itself and the industry from those being charged in this case.


  1. Its ridiculous how far people will go for business, especially if it means harming someone or controlling.

    -Land Source Container Service, Inc.


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