All-female sanitation crew operates Mount Vernon garbage truck in historic milestone

Traditionally, the Department of Public Works (DPW) roles have been male dominated, but these three pioneering women, Kanya Antwi, Khadijah Patterson and Chakka Christopher, have joined the ranks and are holding their own.

Nadia Galindo

Aug 23, 2023, 4:25 PM

Updated 297 days ago

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A historic moment unfolded Wednesday in Mount Vernon as three female sanitation workers took the helm of a garbage truck along a route for the first time in the city's history.
This momentous occasion transpired on South Fourth Street, where the crew was tasked with collecting cardboard boxes.
Traditionally, the Department of Public Works (DPW) roles have been male dominated, but these three pioneering women, Kanya Antwi, Khadijah Patterson, and Chakka Christopher, have joined the ranks and are holding their own.
According to their supervisors, they stand out as some of the finest workers in the department, displaying both exceptional skills and leadership qualities.
All three initially began as seasonal workers under the "Love Our City Campaign," which was funded through the American Rescue Plan. They contributed to cleaning up "zombie homes" and sidewalks and exhibited remarkable potential. Their shared aspiration to become sanitation workers has now been realized, allowing them to assume new responsibilities in preserving the cleanliness of their city.
DPW Commissioner Damani Bush is urging women to attend the city's annual hiring fair scheduled for next spring to encourage more women to pursue sanitation work.


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