Irving Kaminetsky at the Maidenbaum dedication at South Nassau

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten to know Irving Kaminetsky, the veteran commissioner of the Sanitary District Number One, and on occasion I’ve called on him to address certain sanitation-related issues where I live in Lawrence. Why would I call on the commissioner to address such mundane, everyday issues? He is dedicated and helpful and cuts through the red tape.

Irving Kaminetsky (a cousin to the rabbinical family of international renown) has been commissioner of our local sanitation district for over forty years. His beloved wife, Sylvia, supported him in all of his community endeavors and since her passing a few years ago, Irving continues to honor her memory. Irv is a businessman, and while a good deal of his time is spent on sanitation issues, his pay for the work he does is minimal. Still, his dedication to dealing with, well, our garbage, really knows no bounds.

In Brooklyn, a not-unusual sight on the days that the garbage is collected was seeing the receptacles—also known as garbage cans—strewn all over the place. The container was sometimes on one part of your block while the lid to the can was elsewhere. Very often the challenge was to match up your garbage cans to their tops and set them back in their place until the next time that the sanitation people had their way with them.

That isn’t the case out here in what is still marginally considered the suburbs. Here on Long Island, under usual circumstances, the collection people routinely go to the side or the back of your home and gently take the garbage bags or the cans and empty the contents into the back of those trucks that grind up just about anything and make it disappear.

Then they return your garbage cans to the place they found them until the next time. It’s a wonderful and even liberating thing to not have to be mindful of when you have to drag your garbage to the front of your home so that your refuse can benefit from taking a hike on the next big bad truck that pulls up on the street.

Recycling was introduced years ago in order to more effectively manage our garbage and the district has met with success. Other innovations from our Sanitary District include shredding days and an extra pickup before erev Pesach, showing particular sensitivity to the Jewish community looking to dispose of chametz. Sanitary District Number One, on the western tip of Long Island that encompasses most of the Five Towns, accomplishes all this while keeping their taxes the lowest on Long Island.

There’s no question that the folks who handle or take all this garbage from us, the homeowners, do a great job. No matter what the weather is like, they are out there doing their duty, and we thank and salute them for efforts above and beyond the call of duty.

Show your appreciation on Election Day, this Monday, July 8. Commissioner Kaminetsky is running for his tenth 5-year term as commissioner of Sanitary District No. 1. The election takes place at the headquarters, 2 Bay Blvd # 2, Lawrence, between 6:00-10:00 p.m.


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