Mayor Bloomberg and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today administered the oaths of office to over 200 new Sanitation Workers from the Class of August and September 2012, a Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, Department Chiefs and other uniformed personnel. The Mayor and Commissioner Doherty also awarded Medals of Honor to eight Department of Sanitation employees for acts of bravery at the Department’s Annual Awards Ceremony. The event was held at the New York Aviators Sports and Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn.
“The work that you do is difficult, demanding, and phenomenally important and when I call this Sanitation Department a team of champions, that’s no exaggeration,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Each morning, thousands of members of this department have already rolled out on your routes long before most of us have rolled over to turn off our alarm clocks. Congratulations to all of today’s honorees – you provide an outstanding example for this new class to follow.”
“Today, we are welcoming more than 200 new Sanitation Workers to New York’s Strongest who will help this proud department meet its enormous daily challenges,” said Commissioner Doherty. “We are also promoting some seasoned uniformed managers who will guide these new workers through the important jobs they must complete, and welcoming a new team to head our expanding recycling commitment including Ron Gonen, Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, and his Assistant Commissioner, Emily Rubinstein.”
As the new Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, Commissioner Gonen, the founder of Recyclebank, a nationally recognized recycling enterprise, will work to help the Department meet its goals of at least doubling the city’s recycling rate by the year 2017. His immediate responsibility includes increasing the number of street corner public space recycling bins throughout the five boroughs and the curbside collection of organic waste.
The new two-star Chiefs being promoted are Assistant Chiefs Damiano Cassiano, a 23-year veteran assigned to the Bureau Operations Office, and Albert Durrell, also a 23-year veteran assigned to the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection’s Collections Office, which manages the daily citywide pickups of all solid waste and recycling.
The Department of Sanitation also recognized eight employees with Medals of Honor for acts of bravery and concern for fellow New Yorkers, as well as employees who give outstanding service to the City.
A Silver Medal of Honor was given to Sanitation Supervisor Edgar Soto of the Manhattan’s 8th District who on January 18, 2012 observed two males stealing recyclables and loading the items in a truck. Supervisor Soto notified his supervisor, Deputy Chief Anthony Pasquale, and then approached the truck to speak to the driver. As Deputy Chief Pasquale arrived on the scene, he pulled his vehicle behind the truck preventing it from reversing onto York Avenue. Supervisor Soto was standing in front of the truck attempting to issue the occupants summonses when the driver revved forward knocking Supervisor Soto to the ground. Supervisor Soto suffered injuries to his right knee, left shoulder and arm. He was taken to New York Hospital by EMS. NYPD was called and impounded the truck.
A Silver Medal of Honor also was given to Sanitation Worker Aaron Sullivan of the Manhattan’s 4th District. On June 22, 2012, while on recycling collection, his partner, Sanitation Worker Carlos Giscombe, experienced extreme heat exhaustion, fainted, and fell out of the cab of the collection truck hitting his head on the pavement. The collection truck started to roll, veering into the street as it hit a taxi cab pushing the car into a private sanitation collection truck. Sanitation Worker Sullivan, who was behind the truck loading recyclables, noticed the truck moving and darted to the empty truck cab and immediately pulled the emergency brake preventing the rear axle of the collection truck from rolling over Sanitation Worker Giscombe’s lower extremities which would have caused severe injuries. Sanitation Worker Giscombe was taken to Bellevue Hospital via EMS where he was stabilized.