Date: January 5, 2021
Source: News Room
Industry icon Joe Winters passed away on Jan. 5, 2021 following a brief battle with COVID-19. As chairman and CEO of Winters Bros. Waste Systems he led a family business that would become one of the largest waste and recycling companies in the northeast. He was well known in the industry and a consummate entrepreneur having been involved in the acquisition of more than 100 companies and numerous start-ups.
At age 25 he started and built a successful Vermont-based waste business later sold to Casella Waste in 1996. Following his father James "Big Jim's" retirement in 1997 he returned to the family business. In 2007 he and his four brothers sold their business for $263 million to IESI (later Progressive Waste) then bought it back again in 2015. In 2011, Winters saw another opportunity -- buy the Connecticut waste businesses, held by the US Marshall Service, that had been seized from James Galante who was serving time for having colluded with organized crime. That became Winters Bros. CT. In 2015 the company acquired all the Connecticut and New York operations of Waste Management. Today the company employs more than 500, runs 350 trucks, nine transfer facilities and Long Island's largest recycling facility, and hauls more than a million tons of waste and recyclables annually.
After his son Sean was diagnosed with autism in 1998, Winters became an advocate for those on the spectrum. Winters Bros. began hiring individuals with developmental disabilities and remains a large supporter of autism through various charitable efforts.
Along with his brothers, he is survived by his wife, Michele, and their sons, Patrick and Sean.