Local Visionary – Dr. Katie Sandoe

We're all part of a living organism

Introducing you to the people and places that make Lancaster special is our mission. In the spring edition of Fig, you met some of our friends who are forging new paths and are selflessly committed to our community. Now, more than ever, we want to show our appreciation.⁠
Meet Dr. Katie Sandoe – Chief Commercial Officer, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority


“When I consider what makes Lancaster a special place to live, work, and play, I believe we are all part of a living organism. Whether it’s business, education, government, arts and culture, nonprofit, etc., we’re working together to create a healthy balance that promotes growth and vitality, while also honoring Lancaster’s treasured heritage. At LCSWMA, we view this balance with the lens of community sustainability, which encompasses three pillars: protecting our environment, fostering our economy, and upholding our social values.”

“Putting this into practice, LCSWMA manages around 1 million tons of solid waste annually. We work hard to protect people and the environment, while also extracting value from waste to benefit our community. So, for us, balance looks like preserving land and generating renewable energy to power homes and businesses by combusting the trash at our waste-to-energy facilities instead of landfilling the material. We also invest in organizations and projects that enhance the livability of our community.”

"Balance also looks like a team of solid waste professionals who take our work seriously, but likewise believe that having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously creates a culture of innovation, excellence, and collaboration."

“My hope for Lancaster is that we approach our collective future with a similar mindset—that we work together to balance our individual needs and institutional interests with the greater public good, and have fun while doing it! Because it’s our collective responsibility to ensure a vibrant future for Lancaster.”

Passion Project:

Besides talking trash  (that quip never gets old) and helping to create a more sustainable society, I enjoy supporting a thriving community through my service on the board for the Lancaster Chamber, Girls on the Run of Lancaster-Lebanon, and LHOP. I’m also a professor at Penn State Harrisburg and enjoy leading my students to new discoveries. Finally, I love to help people discover their purpose in life and regularly facilitate workshops on the topic.

Reason for Gratitude:

My husband, Shawn, inspires me every day. I’m continually in awe of his kindness, wisdom, humor, compassion, talent, and work ethic. He’s my favorite person in this world and it’s an honor to experience life with him.

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