Ronald Cohen, who worked with waste carters in New York City with the Business Integrity Commission, died Nov. 25 at the age of 47.
“He was sympathetic to many of the carters' concerns, probably because he worked on the back of a garbage truck,” said David Biderman, vice president for government affairs/chapter operations & general counsel for the Washington-based National Waste & Recycling Association.
Cohen, of Eltingville, N.Y., died of brain cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in 2007, according to the Staten Island Advance. He contracted the cancer while helping lead rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City.
Cohen joined the Sanitation Department (DSNY) in 1988, and he rode sanitation trucks. In 1996, he was appointed as a special investigator for the Trade Waste Commission, now known as the Business Integrity Commission.
For more than two decades he was heavily involved with the Sanitation Department's Columbia Association, and served as president for its more than 2,500 members for the last seven years.
"He was wildly admired and loved by his colleagues for his selflessness and dedication, and I consider myself privileged to have worked with him for 12 years, and more privileged to be able to say he was a friend," said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
He is survived by his wife, Paula, and two children. Donations in his memory may be made to The DSNY Columbia Association/Ronnie Cohen Scholarship Fund.