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Niagara History Center presents program on sanitation workers past & present


Mon, Aug 15th 2022 07:00 am

On Saturday, Aug. 20, the Niagara History Center will present the next installment in its “Other Voices” programs on Niagara’s history. “Hidden Workers: The Sanitation Industry Past and Present” will be held at 11a.m. in the History Center’s meeting room at 215 Niagara St., Lockport. The program will feature representatives from Modern Disposal Services in Lewiston.

A brief history of how garbage was collected, and by whom, will be highlighted by Niagara History Center staff. This will be followed by a presentation by Mike McInerney, CEO of Modern Disposal; Dennis Moriarty, vice president of post collections; and Julie Berrigan, vice president of communications and public relations. Speakers will outline the history of the company and the necessity of their employees for everyone’s safety.

Of the importance of the industry, Berrigan stated, “When one really considers the deep impact our work has on our communities and our environment, the sanitation industry is often overlooked and underappreciated.”

A press release stated, “In 1964, Steve Washuta incorporated Modern Disposal Services to expand his seasonal paving company into a business that could provide a steady source of income for his family. As the region’s industrial base grew, Mr. Washuta’s dedication and strong work ethic helped his new business develop from a humble two-truck operation in Western New York into the 20th-largest waste removal company in the United States.

“Today, Modern is still a privately owned waste management solutions company, and employs over 700 people in Western New York, as well as Southern Ontario.”

Modern said, “Safety of our employees and our environment is part of our DNA. Modern is committed to the most innovative and responsible methods of materials management and recycling. It is simple – we accept nothing less. Modern is dedicated to the community and committed to the environment. We enthusiastically support more than 200 nonprofit organizations each year. Modern received the 2017 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation Award from The Association of Fundraising Professionals Western New York Chapter.”

“Other Voices, Past & Present” is a series of talks funded by a Verizon Community Benefits Grant through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. It focuses on groups whose voices have been under-represented in history and the present. Admission is free to the public.

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