On Wednesday, Community Board 12 met with New York City’s Fire, Sanitation and Police Departments, along with community leaders, community organizations and elected officials. The meeting was held to review plans in anticipation of the upcoming Pesach Holiday. Communal procedures were decided upon to ensure that Pesach preparations and festivities would proceed in a safe manner.
The meeting follows an annual tradition, instituted by Rabbi Edgar Gluck in 1966, of hosting a multi-agency conference to facilitate the coordination of Pesach planning. Prior to commencing, Chairman Yidel Perlstein called for a moment of silence in remembrance of Rabbi Jack Mayer, founder of Misaskim. Sadly, this was the first Pesach meeting held without him. Yehi Zichro Baruch. The Chairman also welcomed Assistant Chief Dean Koester, the new Brooklyn Borough Commander of FDNY. Chief Koester recognized his predecessor Chief Joseph Ferrante’s great connection with the community and said he is striving to live up to his reputation.
The group discussed the need for additional city services as well as the need for the community’s cooperation to maximize efficiency of resources and ensure safety. The Chairman noted that although these meetings may appear to be routine at this point, at every meeting there are new exchanges of ideas that have a big impact. The agenda this year focused on: sanitation services needed to accommodate the inevitable increase in trash before the holiday, including increased allocation of trucks and collections as well as dumpsters placed throughout the district. The agenda also covered improving traffic flow during the gridlocked pre-Pesach shopping; and most importantly, ideas to implement to avoid any injuries resulting from Sreifas Chometz.
The FDNY delegation consisted of Brooklyn Borough Commander, Assistant Chief Dean Koester; Staten Island Borough Commander, Assistant Chief Brian Gorman; Assistant Commissioner of External Affairs, Jason Shelly; Deputy Chief Steve Corcoran, Division 11; Battalion Chief Peter Maglione, Battalion 48; Captain Michael Doda of Ladder Company #148; and Assistant Director of Community Affairs, Sandra Sanchez. Joining them from the Department of Sanitation was Assistant Chief James Miglino; Deputy Chief George Best and Superintendent David Diorio from BK12. Joining them from the NYPD was 66th Precinct Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Jason Hagestad; Community Affairs Sergeant Wing Chan; and Community Affairs Officer James Jaiman. Also, in attendance were Councilman Kalman Yeger and Senator Simcha Felder’s Chief of Staff, Judah Wohlgelenter. Representing the organizations who lead the coordination and safety of the events was Mottie Katz, President of the 66th Precinct Community Council & Shomrim Coordinator; Shomrim Coordinator Yiddy Rosman; Shomrim Coordinator Heshy Kahana; Shomrim coordinator Motty Brauner as well as the Coordinator of Staten Island Shomrim, Ari Weiss. Rabbi Edgar Gluck, Senior Community Liaison; Rabbi Berish Freilich, Senior Community Liaison; Bernie Gips, Senior Coordinator of Hatzalah; Chaim Fleischer, Coordinator of Chaveirim and Ari Fleischer, Coordinator of Chaveirim were also in attendance.
All agencies stressed that it is crucial that these following procedures are followed. The extra services we receive from the various government agencies are essential to having a smooth and safe Yom tov, but just as important is the cooperation of all participants. We ask you to follow this important information both to maintain a safe environment and as a cooperative endeavor in appreciation for all the extra services provided so we can celebrate properly.
Bread Burning Schedule: Bread burning will occur on Wednesday, April 5th. All bread burning must be completed by 11:42 am. FDNY will enforce this 11:42 deadline for the safety of our community. Once the deadline has passed, FDNY will put out the fires. DSNY will then collect and dispose of all that’s left over and clean the sites.
Fires will be done at designated locations only. Please check the attached map for locations, some sites were relocated in response to feedback from last year. Fires will be completely fenced off by barriers. The perimeter will be strictly enforced by Shomrim and NYPD.
Please adhere to the following simple rules to ensure the safety of our loved ones during this holiday and make collections easier and faster:
Only Chometz Gamor should be burned, as required. Household trash is not Chometz and should be disposed of as regular trash. There is no chumra requiring the burning of cardboard boxes or any other potentially flammable non-Chometz items. In fact, it may even be contrary to the halachos requiring safety. Extra trash in fires leads to fires growing to unsafe heights. Do not throw Chometz enclosed in silver foil into the fire, it will not burn. Additionally, please keep a close watch on any children you bring along. They are your responsibility.
DO NOT throw any flammable or combustible items into the fire, including paint thinners, aerosol cans, sprays, lighter fluid, any liquid that is used to ignite the fire or any other flammable liquid. Do not throw bottles, both glass and plastic, into the fire. There was an incident last year when an aerosol can was thrown into a fire. This resulted in injuries to a Shomrim member and to a child. You want to spend Seder night at the Seder, not in the hospital ch’v.
A complete list of approved fire sites is attached with this press release. The fire sites will be supervised by volunteers from Shomrim and Chaveirim; please follow their instructions.
The Police and Fire Departments will not allow any unsanctioned fires, either on the streets or in dumpsters. They will be on the lookout for any of these fires and will extinguish them immediately. We ask the community to please be considerate of the hard work that goes into setting this up.
Sanitation Pickup Schedule:
DSNY already began collecting all extra Pesach related garbage, including bulk items. We ask that you place your garbage out as early as possible on your designated collection days so DSNY can collect it all over these last 2 weeks before Pesach. Though there will be extra trucks collecting the expected increase in trash, they cannot collect everything at the last minute. So, please do not wait until the last minute to put out your extra garbage so as not to overload the trucks.
The Sanitation Department will collect all the trash in the district from midnight April 5, Erev Pesach, in the following manner: All recycling will be collected during the midnight to 8 am shift. The rest of the garbage will be collected from 6 am throughout the day. We ask that you place all your trash out for collection on bedikas chumets night. Please do not wait until the last pre-Pesach collection so that all trash can be picked up.
DSNY provided us with a dedicated missed collection hotline to be used only on Erev Pesach. The hotline, 718-449-1498, will be active from noon through the end of the day. Please do not call in missed collections until after 1 pm. All missed collections that are reported will be collected.
As an added benefit, the Sanitation Department will be cleaning certain major commercial strips in the district using MLPs (Motor Litter Patrols) and heavy-duty blowers. DSNY will coordinate with Councilman Kalman Yeger, who sponsors commercial street cleanups by ACE cleanup crews, to ensure that coverage is efficient.
Please be advised that all bulk items and cardboard boxes should be tied up and placed out neatly. Mattresses and box springs must be entirely wrapped, preferably in a store-bought bed bug bag or in plastic, to be collected. DSNY does not service electronic waste. CB12 is working with DSNY to coordinate an E-Waste collection event, as we did last year. DSNY will collect large appliances with bulk collection. But, be sure to schedule a collection for CFC containing appliances, via 311, by April 1 to have the freon removed and appliances collected before Pesach.
Sanitation will provide dumpsters at designated sites for garbage drop-offs starting Wednesday, March 29. These dumpsters will be serviced daily to make sure there is space as needed. A list of these dumpster locations and burn sites is being published along with this press release. It is illegal to place anything other than household trash in these containers. In previous years there has been commercial dumping, especially construction materials, at these sites. DSNY will, like last year, have Sanitation Enforcement dispatched to monitor these sites. Illegal disposals will result in fines. It is not only illegal to dump commercial garbage, but also highly inconsiderate. Doing so leaves no room for the household trash other residents are trying to dispose of.
Community Safety: NYPD will be deploying additional resources to ensure the community’s safety. There will be round-the-clock police coverage by Shomer Shabbos at 53rd Street and 13th Avenue and by Landau’s Shul at Avenue L and East 9th Street. Feel free to approach these police officers with any issues. There will also be patrol cars driving throughout the district on the first
two nights of Pesach as an increased security measure for those out late after the Sedarim. The NYPD will continually patrol throughout Pesach, especially during the Yom Tov days.
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