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Asbestos work begins at Shaw Building

LOCKPORT – A crew from Mark Cerrone Inc. of Niagara Falls started work Tuesday on removal of asbestos from a dumpster behind the Niagara County-owned Shaw Building in Lockport.

The crew built a particle-board enclosure around the dumpster in the rear parking lot, parked an enclosed utility trailer next to it and posted an asbestos warning sign. Jennifer R. Pitarresi, county risk and insurance director, said work on removing the dumpster probably will begin Wednesday.

County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz said Friday he expects that two pieces of asbestos, a piece of pipe insulation and a broken floor tile will be found amid a dumpster full of junk that welfare workers removed from a basement room in the building from May 22-28. William Rutland, president of the county’s blue-collar union, summoned state investigators because of the removal of asbestos by workers who wore no protective gear. The probe of how that happened has not yet been completed by the state departments of Labor and Environmental Conservation.

Pitarresi said the presence of any asbestos at all means the entire contents of the dumpster will have to be disposed of as hazardous waste before the dumpster is certified as safe and returned to Modern Disposal, which brought it to the scene for use in the cleanout.

The Shaw Building, built in 1931 on the Mount View campus off Upper Mountain Road, is home to the county Health and Mental Health departments.