Schenectady County

VanDenburgh recalled by Niskayuna residents as friendly face of town recycling

David VanDenburgh, the longtime presence at the Niskayuna Transfer Station, was remembered this week

The longtime presence at the Niskayuna Transfer Station was remembered this week as an institution at the facility, greeting many of those who brought their recyclables there.

David VanDenburgh, 76, who had essentially run the facility near Blatnick Park for much of the past 20 years, passed away last Wednesday. Services were held Monday.

Residents who used the facility remembered him as a gentleman who knew just about everybody.

“He was probably an institution there,” said resident John Karl, who helped get the transfer station going about 30 years ago and used it frequently. “He’s going to be missed.”

Karl also called VanDenburgh a good PR guy for the station.

Supervisor Joe Landry noted VanDenburgh more or less ran the station.

“He was somebody people tended to know and get along with,” Landry said. “He was a very personable guy. A lot of people would go to the transfer station just to have a conversation with Dave.”

Christina Anderson, 50, of Niskayuna, worked with VanDenburgh for about two years. She thought so much of him that she wrote a blog post about him on her blog,

“He was the grandfather of the town,” Anderson wrote, “He knew every person that stepped in there, where they lived, when their house was built, how many kids they had and the latest trouble they got into, along with their most recent accomplishments.”

VanDenburgh served in the Army from 1954 to 1957, then later worked as a carpenter with local builders. His obituary called his time at the transfer station his “last and favorite position.”

The part-time town employee lived in Duanesburg with his longtime companion, Elaine Perez. Other transfer station employees are doing his job until a replacement can be hired.

Services were held Monday. Family said in his obituary that memorial contributions may be made in VanDenburgh’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.

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