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Throughout the City of New Rochelle, the Department of Public Works’ sanitation crews work tirelessly to support the community, collecting more than 28,000 tons of trash as well as 2200 tons commingled and 3400 tons paper recycling annually from the nearly 15,000 homes citywide. This dedication and contribution have not gone unnoticed, permeating into the neighborhoods they drive through every day and forging a bond within the community as workers connect with residents in their day-to-day.
One particularly heartwarming example is evidenced between the G-31 sanitation crew and the Stokes family, where the weekly pickups are always accompanied by excited honks and waves, becoming an anticipated event for each of their two young sons. In November, the Stokes’ five-year-old, Leo, was hospitalized with an illness; and while working towards recovery, missed seeing the crew outside his window so much that he drew a picture of their truck. In turn, the crew of G-31 - Will Smith, Rashad Amaro and Leroy Johnson - hung Leo’s picture in their cab and for Christmas delivered a large, fully functional garbage truck to him, instantly bringing a bright smile as he gleamed, watching them through the window.
In honor of local sanitation crew G-31, the City of New Rochelle’s Employee Recognition Award was presented to Will, Rashad, and LeRoy for their outstanding, selfless community service and personal impact on their neighbors at a ceremony on April 27 attended by City officials, colleagues from Public Works and other departments, family, friends and the Stokes family. This event marks the return of the City of New Rochelle’s Employee Recognition program, facilitated by the Departments of Human Resources and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In the coming months, employees from each of the City’s departments will be nominated and recognized for their excellence. This is in addition to heritage months observances and service recognition weeks and months.
"We are gratified to bring back this program, which celebrates employees who go above and beyond in their everyday duties. The concern and compassion that Will, Rashad and Leroy have shown is an example for us all,” said City Manager Kathleen Gill.
“Our goal as Public Works professionals is to serve the community. These three employees have demonstrated the best of what that means and we are proud to recognize them today,” said Will Melendez, Public Works Commissioner.
Speaking on behalf of the crew, Will Smith said, “I want to thank the Stokes family for their kind heartfelt words. What was really touching was when Leo brought the picture of his garbage truck out to us- that hangs in our cab. It shows we are not just here picking up garbage- we’re there doing what we do. We are very grateful to be part of this.”
"We were so touched by the kindness and generosity of the G-31 crew, especially when they delivered the garbage truck to Leo. It brought a smile to his face and brightened his day during a difficult time. We're grateful for the hard work and dedication of our local sanitation workers, and we're thrilled to see them recognized with the Employee Recognition Award. They truly go above and beyond to serve our community." said Leanna Stokes