From: Jonathan Rivoli, The Buffalo News
Published August 3, 2005 12:00 AM

Landfill Expert Always Let His Entrepreneurial Talent Go To 'Waste'

The advanced secure residue facility is an odd-looking contraption, a bathtub-shaped, clay-layered lining for landfills that made Lou Wagner's career.

Wagner, a Buffalo native and 36-year veteran of the trash-removal business, invented this device at the beginning of his career and has watched it become a crucial component of the waste removal business.

For the last 30 years, Wagner's invention, or some variant of it, has been used in the construction of new landfills around the world. In 1988, the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that all new U.S. landfills use this technology, which buffers chemicals and natural drippings of garbage piles from the ground underneath.

"Every landfill in the world today that's secure is based on my patent," Wagner said.

As the founder of numerous companies in the waste removal business, Wagner also aided in the cleanup of the Love Canal in Niagara Falls and the demolition of Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.

A few months ago, he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Environmental Industry Association for his invention and his years of finding non-traditional ways to innovate and profit from the business of waste

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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