Andy Brigham: 'Talking trash' seriously

Andy Brigham likes to talk trash.

As spokesperson for the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency for the past 16 years, Brigham is the mouthpiece for the agency charged with recycling the county's garbage. Often recognized for his long tenure as an area television reporter, Brigham today embodies the green message of conservation.

"He believes he is the voice of trash and recycling," said Tom Rhoads, the agency's executive director. "And he takes those duties very seriously."

Brigham has been honored as an inductee of the Syracuse Press Club's Wall of Distinction, and received the group's career achievement award for his 25 years in television news. He uses the knowledge and contacts he gained through years of reporting to publicize OCRRA. He even covered the issue of resource recovery as a reporter when it first became popular in the 1970s.

Brigham joined the resource recovery agency in 1991, a year after its founding. Today, he pushes to make the agency a communication medium that provides information to everyone it can reach.

"He's a bulldog," said Joe Fontanella, OCRRA's director of transfer operations. "He's very perseverant."

The first time Fontanella met Brigham was in 1974. Fontanella worked at Hutchings Psychiatric Center. Brigham was with Syracuse's WTVH Channel 5 and wanted to interview Fontanella for a story.

"His perseverance follows through," Fontanella said. "He wants to get the agency's message out to whoever will listen."

TV reporting

Brigham's television reporting career in Syracuse began in 1966 with Channel 5 in Syracuse. In 1979, he moved to WIXT Channel 9.

"The most pleasure I got out of being in the news business was that I was able to be a news director and continue to report," Brigham said. "Reporting was the most fun. I never liked anchoring. I enjoyed the story and the thrill of getting out into the field."

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