Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Clean-up team in downtown gains job skills by picking up litter 


Will Dwight, Rosa Elmore, and Danny Myrthil are part of a clean-up team that collects litter in the downtown 35-40 weeks of the year, two days a week for two to three hours a day. Their work, a donation to the city of Peekskill, is supported by the non-profit Community Based Services (CBS) which partners with WIN Waste Innovations in an employment training program. 

The three shared their experiences at a press event at Fleischmann Pier Park on July 19. They spoke about being part of the clean-up team and the skills they’ve gained along the way. For more than two years, Elmore has been involved in the program. Her passion for sustainability has inspired her to pursue teaching kids and teenagers about garbage cleanup and environmental love at daycare centers. 

Rosa Elmore in action as part of the clean-up team working in the downtown.

Community Based Services is dedicated to supporting individuals who have autism and or developmental disabilities. Last year, CBS began providing programs, including supported employment and day services, at the former location of the Keon Center on John Walsh Blvd. CBS continued the existing partnership that Keon had with WIN Waste this past year. CBS members participate in an employment training program allowing them to work in a paid internship eventually leading to permanent employment. CBS and WIN Waste have been working together since 2017, said CBS Job Developer Joseph Conti. The contribution from WIN Waste to CBS was $20,000 for this program said Andrea Grady, Director of Marketing and Communications at CBS.  

The program includes job coaching as well as assistance with different work skills. Part of the training program is cleanups in high traffic areas in downtown Peekskill, providing hands-on training and job experience to the clean-up team.

Will Dwight and Rosa Elmore at last week’s event at Charles Point. (Photo by Jeffrey Merchan)

“The team is learning about where the trash they collect goes. This is very enriching for the men and women CBS serves – and for our entire community,” said Conti. The CBS clean-up team members have toured the WIN Waste facility according to Conti. A goal Conti and WIN Waste Plant Manager David Schepperly are working toward is weighing the amount of waste collected by CBS members so they get an idea of the impact their efforts have on the cleanliness of Peekskill. 

Members of the clean-up team with (from left), David Schepperly plant manager of WIN Waste, Joe Conti of Community Based Services, Mayor Vivian McKenzie, Rosa Elmore, Danny Myrhil, Will Dwight and Gullivers Edodor, job coach at CBS.  (Photo by Jeffrey Merchan)

WIN Waste Innovations, formerly known as Wheelabrator, is a sustainable waste services provider that converts waste into renewable energy at its Peekskill waste-to-energy facility at 3 John Walsh Blvd. on Charles Point. The event also celebrated the financial donation to the city that these services provide to support litter removal in the downtown. 

“The waste CBS members collect during cleanups is converted to renewable energy at WIN Waste. That not only helps divert waste from landfills but also keeps trucks off our roads and reduces the need for fossil fuels, because we are powering homes with the energy from waste generated right here,” said Schepperly in a press release.

CBS, headquartered out of North Salem, also offers housing, site-based group day habilitation, community-focused day habilitation, and at home services. CBS currently provides services for roughly 60-65 people in their Peekskill extension according to Conti. 




About the Contributor
Jeffrey Merchan
Peekskill native Jeffrey Merchan is a 2022 graduate of Peekskill High School. He is the Collegiate Journalist at Peekskill Herald, funded by a grant from the DJ McManus Foundation. He is currently enrolled at Westchester Community College where he is studying journalism. As the inaugural recipient of the McManus grant, he will be covering city government, schools and feature stories with a focus on Peekskill’s growing Hispanic community.