I have an old air conditioner that hardly works anymore. I need to get rid of it, but have heard that it's illegal to just leave it out with the trash. I don't have a car so I can't bring it anywhere. What should I do?

Sondra, LES

Yes, it's illegal to throw an air conditioner out with your garbage, but it's not a hanging crime. Still, if you are caught dumping an AC outside your apartment building or anywhere else, expect a hefty fine.

With ACs containing Freon, no one wants old units going straight into landfills where the ozone-depleting chemical could be released into the air. So the best - and legally required - thing to do is to call 311 and arrange for a disposal. You'll be instructed on when to leave your unit outside so that a crew can come by and remove the Freon. Once that's taken care of, the old AC will be labeled with a bright orange pickup and can be disposed of by the good ol' New York Sanitation Department on a regular trash day.

The New York Times reported yesterday on an air conditioner which had been left out illegally in Park Slope. Maybe you picked up a new AC at Target's "Deliver the Shiver" event recently in the city.