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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Trash Collection Clash

The NY Times City Section has an item on the Brooklyn Orthodox community and their Shabbat trash collection issues:
The city collects the area’s trash on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, and the Saturday collection day presents a problem. On that day, the Jewish Sabbath, observant Jews refrain from activities like carrying items on and off their property, and that prohibition includes moving trash cans to and from the curb. As a result, Orthodox families there must put their trash cans out before sundown on Friday, and they cannot retrieve them until Saturday night.

The city, however, has its own rules, and some residents have complained of receiving summonses for putting out their garbage too early. The problem, which was reported in The Kings Courier, a local newspaper, is likely to worsen soon; in December, the Sabbath can start shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday.

...Most complaints, though, center on the empty cans that spend all day Saturday at the curb. In the winter, Ms. Weinstein said, “the cans are sitting there in the snow, maybe covered with snow, being blown around, becoming a hazard to people in the street.”

A Sanitation Department spokesman does make it clear in the article that summonses are not issues unless the trash cans are not taken in until Monday. So it seems the real problem here is the inconvenience suffered by non-Jewish or non-Observant neighbors in that neck of the woods, who have to see garbage cans set out at the curbs all weekend. I guess, though, that if it bother them that much, they can always do what this guy's neighbor does:
Mr. Treitel is one of the fortunate ones. “I happen to have the luck of a next-door neighbor who’s not Jewish, and he’s a nice guy,” he said. The neighbor sometimes brings in both families’ cans. But it is an imperfect solution. “Eighty families on a block, you’re going to have the two gentiles running around cleaning up?” Mr. Treitel said. “Not everybody is that nice.”

I can't imagine having trash cans set out on the curb bothers most people enough that they would want to start dragging their neighbor's trash cans back to the side of their house. Nah. And hey, it's so much easier for the ones who are really bothered to just file a complaint.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On many streets in Boro Park (ie. 44th St.) the sanitation workers fling the cans onto the sidewalk and the entire sidewalk remains blocked for the entire Shabbos.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Ayelet said...

On windy days, you sometimes find trash cans rolling in the street. I've seen it on several occasions.

1:53 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

What a bunch of Rubbish (sorry, couldn't resist).

One of the perks of being a 5-Towns resident: the garbage men come into your backyard and remove your garbage. I guess we DO have it easy here....

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One of the perks of being a 5-Towns resident: the garbage men come into your backyard and remove your garbage. I guess we DO have it easy here...."

Yes and we pay for it in our taxes!!

8:33 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

What, did you expect it to be free? Of course we pay for it in our taxes. That doesn't diminish the convenience.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard of something called an eruv, which is loophole in halacha. Oh! forgot, only YI of Flatbush holds from it. And what if the kind neighbor is of a Jewish mother and non observant? Guess he's going to get stoned with the rest of us

10:14 AM  
Blogger and so it shall be... said...

"Yes and we pay for it in our taxes!!"


10:17 AM  
Blogger Shifra said...

They pick up trash twice a week in my town and guess what? If I don't get my trash out on Monday, it will wait patiently in the can until Thursday's pickup.

Unless the city is willing to rearrange the schedule (which is possible if they get enough complaints) why don't these folks buy an extra trash can or two and take it out to the curb for the non-Saturday pickup. People in this country don't realise how lucky they are to have their trash picked up at ALL.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shifra, they already have an extra can or two. These aren't one-family houses. They're usually three-family houses with 6-10 people living in each apartment. Letting the trash build up would create a health hazard for the community.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and then the people here can condemn the Haredi for their uncleanliness.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Shifra said...

Ah I didn't consider that. Point taken.

9:40 PM  
Blogger rescue37 said...


The garbage cans themselves once put out on Friday are considered muktzeh on Shabbos. (see smiras shabbos chilchosah for the exact reasoning) An eruv would not help.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never lived somewhere where the trash was collected more than once a week...

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shifra...another point. If they would only collect trash once a week in Boro Park, they would need twice as many trucks (which they don't have). In other words, the garbage of half of the people would remain uncollected.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes the Jews look bad, not to simply to society-at-large, but to the actual neighbors, the people who live right next door and with whom interaction take splace constantly. Also, receptacles strewn about make for stumbling blocks before the mobility-impaired. It simply isn't nice, and it can potentially be dangerous.

9:53 AM  

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