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June 4, 2019 - 3:19pm

A new interim director for Genesee County Community Mental Health Services was announced Monday at the Human Services Committee meeting.

Bernadette Bergman, the agency's board president, told committee members that the resignation of Director Ellery Reaves has been accepted and Augusta Welsh will serve as interim director through July 14 while the position is advertised.

If the job cannot be filled within 60–90 days, another interim mental health director from a neighboring county will fill the gap until a permanent director is appointed.

The prospect of sharing the agency's services with another county was also debated.

The committee discussed the possibility of a mental health director serving both Genesee and Erie counties.

Legislator Gordon Dibble noted the agency has not committed to shared services, but it is looking into other counties’ practices and whether a dual-county mental health director position would meet state requirements.

Committee members resolved to keep past experiences with shared services in mind as they continue to explore their options.

Welsh told the committee that Mental Health Services is collaborating with local school districts and nonprofit organizations like GCASA to reduce patients’ treatment costs and unnecessary emergency room visits. It is also seeking additional satellite locations to provide more convenient mental health and chemical dependency appointments to clients.

Welsh said the mandated new jail, once it's built, could serve as a prospective satellite site that could help maximize psychiatry services.

Also on Monday's agenda, Office for the Aging Director Ruth Spink informed the committee of slight increases in the per-unit cost of its ARC of Genesee Orleans home-delivered meals program.

The rate per meal will increase by 30 cents for home-delivered, congregate, cold/sandwich and frozen meals because state and federal funds cannot be used to cover meal preparation expenses.

“ARC is really struggling with continuing this program," Spinks said. "I think we’ve got a commitment to get through the next two years of this, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to continue afterward just because of the increase in food costs and the increased cost in minimum wage.”

In order to prevent the end of the meal service after 10 years of success, the Office of the Aging and ARC will consider the possibility of a cooperative meal-service agreement with community organizations.

Similar to Mental Health Services, the Office for the Aging may partner with the new jail to offset rising food prices and wages of food service workers.

Lastly, the committee was provided an overview of an eight-month program for high school students that teaches leadership skills and good decision making.

City of Batavia Youth Bureau Director Jocelyn Sikorski expressed her satisfaction with the Genesee Youth Lead program and said it has garnered positive response from participants and local school districts as the 2018–19 academic year nears its end.

This community-based leadership development program immerses students in county policymaking and administration. Participants refine their problem-solving and teamwork skills during sessions that focus on a specific topic each time, targeting issues leaders in our county deal with.

These include: agriculture, health and human services, government, law enforcement, tourism, business, emergency preparedness, arts and culture, leadership opportunities, community service, team building, and job-readiness training.

“Great feedback from the kids with every session,” Sikorski said. “We evaluated every session, so we’re looking to gear up for next year. We start recruiting probably in the next week or two, and we’ll recruit all summer and then interview the kids in the fall again.”

The next Human Services Committee meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 15 at the Old Courthouse in Batavia.

February 26, 2019 - 7:55am
Event Date and Time: 
March 9, 2019 - 12:30pm to 2:15pm
The Arc of Genesee Orleans will again be presenting an Art Show and Film Festival in celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Saturday, March 9 at the GCC Stuart Steiner Theatre located on 1 College Drive, Batavia.
September 15, 2018 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, ARC, news, sports, Genesee Orleans ARC.


Brandon Rebert had the best time today in the Arc of Genesee Orleans 5K in Elba.

Liz Bender (second picture) had the best time among the women.








April 27, 2018 - 3:23pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) will be hosting a special roundtable discussion in Batavia on May 3 with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, called "ThinkDIFFERENTLY."

The discussion offers different perspectives on how our businesses, organizations and individuals can better treat our residents with special needs.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “I thank Assemblyman Hawley for embracing the ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ initiative we’ve found so successful in Dutchess County, and I hope communities throughout his district will continue to answer our call to action.

"Each New Yorker deserves to treated based upon their own unique abilities and potential, and we in Dutchess County seek to embrace all residents of all abilities. I thank the communities that have chosen to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY,’ and I look forward to seeing the trend continue throughout our state.”

The event will take place at the ARC of Genesee Orleans Community Center located at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 3. Residents who wish to attend are asked to please call Hawley’s district office ahead of time to register at (585) 589-5780.

“I am pleased to host this important roundtable discussion with County Executive Marc Molinaro, and I look forward to bringing in community stakeholders to talk about ways to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our residents with special needs,” Hawley said.

“I am hopeful we can implement many of the ideas and solutions that are part of this program, and I am eager to have a productive discussion.”

Editor's Note, April 28: This story has been updated to correct the venue's address; it will take place at 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia, not on Walnut Street.

May 12, 2017 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ARC, batavia, pembroke, bergen, schools, education, news.


Four area high school students were honored by the Arc of Genesee Orleans on Thursday night at the agency's annual meeting with scholarships from the Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is awarded to students interested in working with people with disabilities.

The scholarships were awarded to Natalie Bigelow, Batavia HS, who plans to attend Daemen College and study Physical Therapy; Alyssa Weaver, Pembroke HS, who plans to enter a Physician's Assistant Program; Hannah Bowen, Notre Dame HS, who plans to attend Clarkson University, and she will pursue a career in Psychology; Marlaina Fee, Byron-Bergen HS, who plans to study Elementary Education at Geneva College, with a focus on Special Ed and Sign Language.

Representing the schoalrship fund was Molly George.

March 16, 2017 - 5:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, news, batavia, art, film festival.

The Arc of Genesee Orleans Art Show & Film Festival will be held at Stuart Steiner Theatre, at Genesee Community College, on Saturday, March 18.

The campus is located at 1 College Drive in the Town of Batavia.

The artwork, courtesy of artists served by The Arc of Genesee Orleans, will be displayed at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Sprout Film Festival at 1 o'clock.

Register at the event to win a beautiful framed work of art!

For more information, contact Shelley Falitico at 343-4203 or visit geneseearc.org or arcoforleans.org.

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regnant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature and administered by GO ART!

June 8, 2016 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ARC, batavia, news.


Local law enforcement officers -- including troopers, deputies and police officers, carried the Special Olympic torch in a run from Elba to Batavia, finishing at the ARC center on Oak Street.

March 13, 2016 - 6:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, Notre Dame, pembroke, alexander.

(Submitted photo.)

Courtesy of our news partner WBTA:

The Genesee ARC awarded $1,000 scholarships on Saturday to each of three local students planning to pursue a career in the field of developmental disabilities.

Receiving the scholarships were: (seated on stage from left) Michelle Martinucci, Notre Dame High School; Hunter Marzlof, Alexander High School; and Alison Reiner, Pembroke High School.

The scholarships are named in memory of Mary Anne Graney, parent, educator, advocate and friend of the ARC. The scholarships are funded through the annual Mary Anne Graney Friends & Family 5K run.

Presenting the scholarships on Saturday were: Ted Graney, Mary Anne’s son, NYS Assemblyman Steve Hawley and ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski.

March 1, 2016 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, GCWRC, news.
Press release:

The Genesee County Women’s Republican Club (GCWRC) has selected the Genesee ARC as its charitable organization of the year. The GCWRC, created in the 1930s, will be raising funds and awareness for the tremendous work that the ARC does for the community.

“We are very excited to assist the Genesee ARC during 2016," said Rachael Tabelski, president of the GCWRC. "They are a fantastic organization and they have made it clear that in Genesee County it’s all about being enabled not disabled. Every member of our society deserves respect and the chance to live a fulfilling life. The Genesee County ARC makes this happen every day."

The Genesee ARC, founded in 1966, is celebrating 50 years of excellence with the mission to support people with disabilities in partnership with their families and the community. The ARC embraces individuals to nurture their social, spiritual, physical and emotional growth.

"In our 50th year of providing services to individuals with developmental and other disabilities, to receive the support and recognition of the GCRWC is an honor," said Donna Saskowski, executive director of the Genesee ARC. "Community education and support is vital to providing the most integrated services possible. Thank you.”

The GCWRC will kick off the fundraising efforts at their annual Spring Breakfast that will be held on April 9 at the Dibble Family Center, located at 4110 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. The breakfast also serves as a springboard to the political season and allows members, candidates and interested citizens an opportunity to gather and discuss current events.

The cost of breakfast is $20 per person and checks can be made out to GCWRC, mailed to Treasurer Michele Smith at 20 Canterbury Lane, Bergen, NY 14416.

In other news the GCWRC has seated a new executive committee consisting of the following individuals: President -- Rachael Tabelski; 1st Vice President -- Nicole Begin; 2nd Vice President -- Penny Kennett; Secretary -- Debbie Douglas; Corresponding Secretary -- Jayleen Carney; Treasurer -- Michele Smith; Parliamentarian -- Gertrude Penepent.

To learn more, or join the GCWRC contact Rachael Tabelski at [email protected]

October 30, 2015 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, Le Roy, business, Milestones.

(Submitted photo of NYS ARC President Laura Kennedy presenting an Employer of the Year Award to Jeremy Smowton, of Bessey Tools in Le Roy.)

Press release:

NYS ARC President Laura Kennedy presented an Employer of the Year Award to Jeremy Smowton of Bessey Tools, last week during NYS ARC’s Fall meeting in Albany.  Bessey Tools was nominated for the award by Genesee ARC to recognize its longtime partnership with the business whose United States headquarters is in Le Roy.

Smowton, vice president of Finance at Bessey Tools, reflected on the company’s association with Genesee ARC.

“We truly appreciate the hard work and effort the team from our local ARC provides for Bessey Tools," Smowton said. "They are a conscientious group that cares about the work they do, which we feel they do very well. At Bessey Tools, we are proud to have the privilege to serve our community through Genesee ARC. We look forward to a long standing future relationship.”

Genesee ARC has had a business relationship with Bessey Tools for the past 15 years and has had an onsite enclave at their factory since January 2013, employing 6 to 10 people daily.

Scott Jones, Genesee ARC director of Employment Services, said individuals work at ten different stations, assembling clamps, operating drill and hydraulic presses, packing and barcoding products.

“When Bessey Tools decided to move an assembly operation from Long Island to Le Roy, they asked Genesee ARC to handle the production because of our quality work and 15-year track record of excellence,” Jones said.

The Award presentation coincided with October’s 70th annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

Genesee ARC is one of 54 Chapters of NYS ARC, the largest provider of services to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the nation, offering supports encompassing all aspects of a person’s life from birth through end-of-life care.

September 14, 2015 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC.

Press release:

With unanimous votes by The Arc of Orleans and Genesee ARC boards of directors, plans are moving ahead to unify the two agencies that are chapters of NYSARC, Inc., the largest disability service provider of its kind in the nation.

Donna Saskowski, longtime executive director of the Genesee Chapter, has also been overseeing the Orleans Chapter since April.

“For months we have been meeting to discuss how we can collaborate and share services,” Saskowski said. “This was the next logical step."

Orleans President John Huber calls this a progressive move noting unification will expand opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in both counties.

”Our new dream is to adapt to the changing horizon while providing expanded services to the people we serve,” Huber said.

Genesee Chapter President Candie Pocock echoed Huber’s comments, “What’s important for families, staff and individuals in both Chapters to understand, is that programs and services will continue in each county, and now have the opportunity to grow.”

Each board recognizes the similarities between their respective counties.

“We are rural, neighboring, agricultural communities, roughly the same size in area and among New York’s smallest in terms of population,” Saskowski said. “Looking ahead, we feel our similar cultures will allow for a smooth transition."

In a joint statement the chapters’ executive boards addressed finances as they had been asked if the unification was being pursued due to current financial needs. According to the statement, “We are choosing to unify in order to effectively address the financial challenges resulting from current NYS Medicaid transformational reform initiatives."

NYSARC, Inc., the nonprofit organization that oversees the Genesee and Orleans chapters, will monitor and guide the voluntary unification process, which should be completed in 2016.

Genesee ARC was founded in 1966 and will be marking its 50th Anniversary next year. The Arc of Orleans was founded in 1970 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. Combined, the agencies serve more than 1,200 individuals with developmental or other intellectual disabilities and their families.

Of the Boards’ decision to unify Saskowski said, “This is a strong statement in support of the people we serve and all of our staff. The Orleans and Genesee chapters have nearly 100 years of experience serving people with disabilities in our two counties; this vast experience will position us well going forward."

Questions? Please feel free to contact Sandy Konfederath, coordinator of Community Relations for Genesee ARC, at (585) 343-4203 or e-mail at [email protected] or Darlene Golson at [email protected].
May 5, 2015 - 4:36pm
posted by Lisa Ace in Community Action Vendor Blender, ARC, batavia, ny.
Event Date and Time: 
May 2, 2015 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Community Action Angels Vendor Blender 2015 Saturday May 2, 2015 at the ARC Community Center on Woodrow Rd., Batavia, NY at 10am - 3pm!

There will be raffles, hot dogs, crafters, thirty-one, Mary Kay, Scentsy, Jewelry, Pampered Chef, Tastfully Simple and more!

March 2, 2015 - 3:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC.

Althea Penepent (right) with her daughter-in-law Jeanne and daughter Valerie. Mrs. Penepent is speaking out on the need for expanded services for people with developmental disabilities in New York State for her daughter and thousands of others on a waiting list for residential services.

Press release:

BYRON – Althea Penepent often wonders (and worries) what will become of her daughter Valerie after she’s gone. So, Althea has joined a growing number of families across New York State advocating for expanded services for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The “Families Cannot Be Caregivers Forever Campaign” calls current funding in the New York State Budget completely inadequate to meet the needs of these New Yorkers, many living at home with aging parents.

Valerie is the seventh and youngest child of Althea and Richard Penepent, born Feb. 2, 1977. Althea shares that her pregnancy and delivery with Valerie were the same as her first six children. She was blindsided when her doctor came into her hospital room after Valerie was born and coldly stated, “Women over 40 shouldn’t have a child because she’s mongoloid,” then turned on his heel and left. A nurse’s aide called Richard Penepent, plowing snow in the aftermath of the Blizzard of ’77, to come talk to his wife.

When Althea told Richard their baby girl had Down syndrome, he calmly and confidently said, “Althea, we’ll handle it.” Those words from her husband were all Althea needed to hear to reassure her that her new baby would have every opportunity to thrive and learn in a home filled with love.

Today, Richard Penepent, 88, has dementia and has been in the Le Roy Village Green Nursing Home for 13 months. In looking back on this last year, Althea reflects, “He doesn’t recognize very many people any more – but he always knows Valerie, no matter what, and calls her by name.”

Genesee ARC Medicaid Service coordinator Roxanne Monteleone has worked with the Penepent family for the last ten years.

“Valerie’s future weighs heavily on Althea. Valerie is on a waiting list for residential placement, but with no funding in the State Budget, every agency’s hands are tied,” Monteleone said. “It’s a very real concern for many families we serve."

Valerie has had an amazing 38 years, and she will proudly share her many accomplishments.

“I graduated from Batavia High School in 1998 and then began working at the workshop (ARC Sheltered Work Center), Valerie said. "I like to cook, dance, do laundry, crafts, go shopping and do jigsaw puzzles.”

According to her sister-in-law Jeanne Penepent, “Valerie loves to gives birthday cards and is always sharing little gifts for special occasions.”

The recent death of Althea’s sister and sister-in-law combined with her husband’s health and her own glaucoma has Althea even more concerned for Valerie’s future.

“She has come a long way,” Althea said.

Besides regular and special education schooling, the family paid for private math and reading classes for Valerie for 20 years in a program that originally began at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Valerie has been attending the Genesee ARC Sheltered Work Center day program since she turned 21. She has learned a lot of new skills and tackles every job with great pride. When asked her favorite job, her immediate response is, “cheese boxes,” a longtime Work Center contract for Yancey’s Fancy.

“What concerns me is where she will live, who will care for her after I’m gone,” Althea said, “Valerie is a blessing, but my other children have families and concerns of their own. I feel a residential placement is the best for Valerie’s future.”

According to the most recent data provided by Genesee ARC’s state association, NYSARC, Inc., 12,000 people in New York are on a waiting list for residential options, while 4,000 people are in critical need.

The last time there was any major residential development in New York State was in 1998 with the announcement of the NYS CARES (New York State Creating Alternatives in Residential Environments and Services) program by then Governor George Pataki. NYS CARES was pegged as a five-year plan to virtually eliminate the waiting list for out-of-home residential services for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

“While NYS CARES resulted in meeting the needs of thousands of New Yorkers, at the time, development has been at a standstill for years,” Genesee ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski said. “New York needs to step up and provide the necessary funding, to help the thousands more families like the Penepents."

While facing so many life changes, Althea Penepent wondered aloud how different life might be if Governor Cuomo was in her shoes.

“If he had a handicapped child, maybe then he would understand,” the mother said. “Valerie votes --- 'people with disabilities have rights, too.' "

NYSARC statistics estimate nearly 200,000 people with developmental disabilities in New York State live with family caregivers; more than 50,000 live with family caregivers over 60 years of age.

Families across New York are urging their state legislators to advocate on their behalf to include funds in the upcoming budget to provide critical residential services, at last giving families peace of mind, knowing when they’re gone their child with a disability will be cared for.

A link to the Families Cannot Be Caregivers Forever Action center is on the Genesee ARC Web site, www.geneseearc.org.

November 22, 2014 - 7:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, south byron, Halloween, Adults with Disabilities.

Photo and write-up sent by Pat Iamon on Nov. 21:

On Oct. 16th at the South Byron Fire Hall, 85 plus attendees came together to celebrate Halloween at Genesee County’s Adults with Developmental Disabilities Dance. There were witches, pirates, policemen, clowns, cowboys and Hippies. All had to pass by our life-sized “Uncle Charlie” who at the slightest movement gladly removed his head as his eyes moved from side to side.

Attendees entered ghostly bat-ridden, spider-webbed South Byron Fire Hall on a mild October evening. Uncle Joe snapped photos as DJ Tom queued up some of the group’s favorite tunes. As usual, folks mingled on the dance floor in between enjoying some delicious Timbits from Tim Horton’s and apple cider. September and October birthdays were recognized prior to our customary circle dances, the Chicken Dance and the Hokey Pokey.

The next dance is the much-anticipated Christmas Dance. We are expecting a visit from Santa and he usually comes bearing gifts. The dance will be held on Thursday, Dec. 18, at the South Byron Fire Hall on Route 237 once again.

Special thanks to the South Byron Fire Department for extending us the use of the hall for these first two dances while the Byron Fire Hall is undergoing some renovations. The last dance of the season on May 14th will be the Patriotic Dance and it will be held at the Byron Fire Hall.

The dances are sponsored by Byron Ladies Auxiliary, and are open to all folks with developmental disabilities ages 13 and up living in Genesee County; family and caregivers are also welcome. Adequate supervision is required. Anyone wanting to volunteer or who needs more information may call Pat Iamon at 245-2918 or Laura Platt at 548-2245. If dances need to be cancelled due to weather, please listen to WBTA.

May 27, 2014 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, hippotherapy.

Children with disabilities can benefit from hippotherapy. What's that? It's providing speech therapy and physical therapy using the movement of a horse.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, there will be an open house and fundraiser to benefit ARC of Genesee County for hippotherapy. It will take place at Conrad Country Stables at 2638 Pearl St. (Route 33) just outside of Batavia.

There will be a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle, children's games and refreshments.

Valerie Edwards is the director of the program, which is relatively new to Genesee County. It is called Equine Assisted Therapeutic Services LLC, located at 3389 Dodgeson Road, Alexander. Phone is 585-815-0327.

November 15, 2013 - 8:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ARC.

Press release:

Community members, area businesses, ARC families and staff have donated more than 100 baskets for Genesee ARC’s 3rd Annual Chili & Chowder Fest and theme basket raffle.  The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 16 at the Genesee ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road, and runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“We have a wide range of themes this year ranging from movies and tools, to candles and restaurants and everything in between,” said Shelley Falitico, ARC Development Director and event chair.

With every $10 ticket, participants will have 25 chances to win, along with a chance to win one of two door prizes. There is a group of specialty baskets, valued at $50 or more with 10 tickets at $15. Featured specialty items include Sabres baskets with tickets and parking passes and a wheeled trash can full of cleaning supplies.

This year’s grand prize is a chest freezer that comes with gift cards to area grocers and meat markets, so the winner can fill the freezer. Grand prize chances are $2 each, 3 chances/$5.00 and 8 chances/$10.

A baked goods sale is also planned along with chili and chowder in bowls, to eat in or quarts to take home.

Winners need not be present. The drawings will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. Funds raised will benefit disability services in our community.

New this year is a ticket-only sale on Friday, November 15 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

“We know this is a busy time of year with a lot of weekend events,” Falitico said. “The Committee wanted to offer everyone a chance to win, even if they cannot attend the actual event."

Community members with questions may call Shelley Falitico at the Genesee ARC Community Relations office at (585) 343-4203, ext. 222.

November 5, 2013 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ARC, sports, softball.

Press release:

Genesee Lightning, Genesee ARC’s softball team, recently competed in the Special Olympics regionals competition in Victor and the Special Olympics Fall Classic in Pittsford.  In Victor, the team earned a bronze medal and the skills team brought home two gold, three silver and two bronze medals. At the Fall Classic, the team earned another bronze and the skills team came home with three gold and three bronze medals.

Athletes on the 2013 softball team and skills team were: James Grudzien, Erik Goodrich, Wesley Munt, Chris Jakubowski, Angie Maniaci, Juan Baez, Josh Derrick, Josh Jones, Jason Stimson, Jackie Jones, Chris Hartgrove, Josh Tiede, Shawn Bennett, Tim Markek, Jacob Klotzbach, Brandon Oun, Sara Dieck and Shannon Nigh.

Pictured with the team is Certified Coach, Reneé Potter, Genesee ARC Family Support Services manager (far right) and Team Assistant Coach Eileen Corcoran, Genesee ARC prevocational specialist (far left).

Up next are the Special Olympics winter games. As soon as weather permits Genesee ARC’s Special Olympics snowshoeing team will begin practicing.

July 20, 2013 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, ARC, summer recreation project.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Summer Recreation Program is well under way and entering the third week of the six-week program. Each year the program sponsors a Community Service Day for all of the children to volunteer and give something back to their community.

This year’s Community Service Project is scheduled for July 23 at all of the parks. There will be a community-wide can/bottle drive to raise money for youth programs at the Genesee ARC.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please feel free to deliver cans and bottles to any of the parks (Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert, Williams, Woodward) on or before July 23 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Or you can take cans or bottles to the Batavia Youth Bureau located at 12 MacArthur Drive and program sponsors will make sure the donations are delivered to the parks.

Each park will also visit homes in their park’s neighborhoods on July 23 to solicit cans/bottles for the drive.

If you have any questions or would like to help in any way, please call the Youth Bureau at 345-6420. Thank you for your anticipated assistance and support!

Toni Funke

Program Coordinator


September 28, 2012 - 8:47am
posted by Daniel Crofts in ARC, environment, Recycling.

Michael Smith hopes that "future generations of our children will ask, 'What were landfills?'"

Smith is the trash/recycling coordinator at Genesee ARC. He is pictured (left) with Floor Supervisor Mark Wood.

His comment was part of an opening speech at last night's open house for the agency's new Trash & Recycling Center.

The open house was in celebration of the center's move from its former location on Clinton Street (in the City of Batavia) to a larger facility at 3785 W. Main St. Road in the Town of Batavia.

Genesee ARC, which serves children and adults with developmental disabilities, has handled the City of Batavia's waste management for nearly 30 years.

"Recycling was a natural spinoff," Smith said.

And now, with New York State's recycling and take-back program for electronic items, they are going to be even busier.

By law, businesses, municipalities and waste collection companies can no longer throw away old computers, TVs, or other covered electronic devices -- known as "e-waste" -- into the trash or into landfills. Instead, the manufacturers must take them back for recycling purposes.

ARC's new Trash & Recycling Center location will house the agency's e-waste recycling efforts, which are part of an expansion of endeavors and a growing need for services that prompted the move to West Main Street Road.

At this time, according to Wood, all of the materials that go through ARC's Trash & Recycling Center are sent to mills around the Northeast region and Canada.

"They take the products and re-manufacture the raw material into new soup cans, new milk cartons, new boxes," etc.

In addition to being good for the environment, the center also give employment opportunities to people with disabilities, which Wood sees as a major plus.

Photos: Top four photos by Howard Owens. Other photos by Dan Crofts.

Government officials present at last night's event included:

Jeremy Bennett, a representative from Congresswoman Kathy Hochul's office, with ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski.

Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell, with ARC Director of Development Shelley Falitico.

For more information on ARC's Trash & Recycling Center, click here.

Disclosure: Dan Crofts works for Genesee ARC. He is employed at the Day Habilitation site in Elba.

More pictures (click on the headline for more):

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