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Fredonia man wins honor from Casella

Shawn Dutton received one of four national Driver of the Year awards.

A Fredonia man is one of four honorees announced recently by Casella. Out of hundreds of applications from member companies representing close to 80,000 routed trucks, the Casella drivers’ commitment to excellence and safety set them apart from the rest.

The annual Driver of the Year awards recognize drivers nationwide who put safety first. Award recipients are drivers who operate their trucks safely and responsibly, have outstanding performance records, and whose contributions have enhanced the overall safety and image of the solid waste industry.

Shawn Dutton was cited as “the ideal community member, with exceptional service at the forefront of each of his 20 years in the industry.” He is known for taking the time to help elderly community members, retrieving totes that are not accessible, and initiating conversations with customers who just need to talk.

Dutton is involved in his community, consistently volunteering to assist youth sports programs, and is always eager to participate in community outreach opportunities.

“Shawn understands the importance of building relationships both professionally and personally. Professionally, he takes the extra time to walk up the driveways of his elderly customers when they have trouble, or he takes a moment to chat with a recent widower,” said Jamestown Division Manager Bill Devlin. “Shawn is well-liked by his colleagues and always willing to lend a hand. He proves his dedication with an impeccable work ethic, safety at the forefront, and perfect attendance.”

When accepting his 2024 Driver of the Year Award, Dutton credited his division and the people he works alongside every day for their support.

“I want to thank my Jamestown-Fredonia coworkers,” Dutton said. “My team provides top-notch customer service and holds safety at the forefront. Any one of these guys could be standing up here instead of me. I am grateful.”

Management has credited his mentorship as the driving force behind the division’s success, training multiple employees to adhere to his deeply rooted values of service and safety.

“Customers know Shawn by name. He has a passion for serving his customers. In fact, most of his customers even know when he is on vacation,” said Devlin.

In an announcement of this year’s honorees, National Waste and Recycling Association Interim President and CEO Jim Riley acknowledged the essential service drivers and operators provide for residents and businesses in the nation every day while performing under some of the most demanding conditions.

“Driver safety and retention are important indicators for the industry. This year’s winners and those recognized with honorable mentions not only exhibit their dedication to the industry but an unsurpassed safety record,” said Riley. “Congratulations to all the drivers and operators being honored.”

Dutton and other drivers were recognized for their distinguished service at a celebratory awards breakfast in May at WasteExpo in Las Vegas.

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