New Recycling Compatibility Report Reaffirms that WTE & Recycling are Compatible

A new recycling compatibility report was released by Eileen Berenyi of Governmental Advisory Associates today entitled, “A Compatibility Study: Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Work in Concert, 2014 Update”.  This study updates similar analyses conducted in 2008 and 2009. Their purpose was to answer the question: Does a community’s use of a waste-to-energy plant to dispose of its waste impact the level of recycling in that community? The 2008 study answered that question with a resounding no. The means of disposal had no impact on the level of recycling; in fact, many communities which sent their waste to a waste-to-energy plant had higher levels of recycling than averages that prevailed across their state. This current paper, updates the study, using 2012 data as much as possible. In an examination of recycling rates of 700 communities in twenty-one states, which rely on waste-to-energy for their waste disposal, it was again demonstrated that this means of disposal had no impact on recycling.  In fact, overall communities using waste-to-energy had a slightly higher level of recycling than that observed across their states and across the nation.

Register for NAWTEC; Join WTE's Biggest Stage!

The 22nd Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference (NAWTEC) is just around the corner.  Register today!  NAWTEC, which will take place May 7-9 in Reston, VA (metropolitan Washington, DC), is recognized as the industry’s premier conference and trade show focusing on municipal waste-to-energy business, operational and policy issues, as well as technology and research initiatives.  NAWTEC 22 features:

  • Real Insight through in-depth sessions, addressing issues such as development of new WTE capacity, enhancing business opportunities in core WTE services, examining recent developments in waste conversion technologies, enhancing operations, exploring the work being done by the Department of Defense to increase renewable capacity and how waste-to-energy can capitalize on those opportunities, examining the latest research and technology, and more.
  • Real Solutions with a variety of exhibitors providing critical products and services to the waste-to-energy industry.
  • Real First-hand Experiences with a tour of the Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility in Dickerson, Maryland.

Please visit www.nawtec.org for information on registration, the hotel, and the program. 


Center for American Progress Again Looks to WTE to Achieve GHG Reductions

The Center for American Progress (CAP) published an article online this week in which author Matt Kasper discusses the importance of waste-to-energy as a means for the Obama Administration to achieve its goals in reducing methane emissions.  CAP asserts that the recent release of the White House’s Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions is a promising step forward, but that there are more policies that the administration should pursue---such as utilization of waste-to-energy, which will reduce landfill methane emissions and offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated from coal and natural gas power plants. Additionally, states should be allowed to incorporate WTE technology in their implementation plans to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, forthcoming carbon-pollution (111(d)) standards.  CAP states that when the EPA begins to take public comments on the landfill standards, the use of energy-recovery facilities must be on the agency’s agenda. To read the article, click here.  This builds upon a 2013 article published by CAP entitled, "Energy from Waste Can Help Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions."

Darryl Banks, Vice President for Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress, will discuss the opportunities for WTE to reduce GHGs during Session 2 of the North American Waste-to-Energy Conference in Reston, VA on May 8.  Please visit www.nawtec.org to register.

LCSWMA Acquires the Harrisburg WTE Facility

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) has officially acquired the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex (SRMC), formerly known as the Harrisburg Resource Recovery Facility, for a total purchase price of $129,890,000.  The purchase is supported by 20-year waste disposal contracts with the City of Harrisburg and Dauphin County, in addition to a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services.  This project is the first public to public acquisition of a waste-to-energy facility in the United States and was a key ingredient in relieving the distressed City of Harrisburg from over $360 million of debt.  LCSWMA’s newly expanded system will now manage approximately 900,000 tons of solid waste with annual revenues of approximately $85 million.  “This innovative, strategic acquisition will provide the region with future waste processing capacity and offer additional flexibility to LCSWMA’s already robust Integrated System,” said James Warner, LCSWMA’s CEO.  Covanta Energy will continue operating the WTE facility portion of the site under an amended agreement with LCSWMA.  LCSWMA’s business plan includes a series of capital improvements to the site over the next four years totaling $18.25 million, including: installing new scales and implementing traffic flow patterns to improve on-site time for customers; constructing a new small vehicle drop-off building for residents and deliveries of construction/demolition waste; purchasing equipment for upgrades to the WTE facility; expanding the current tipping floor; constructing a new building for ash storage; revamping the current site entrances; and implementing extensive landscaping work.  

New Study Published on Economic Benefits of WTE

Eileen Berenyi of Governmental Advisory Associates released a report entitled “Nationwide Economic Benefits of the Waste-to-Energy Sector,” which concludes that the total economic contribution of the United States waste-to-energy sector is $5.6 billion of gross economic sales output.  The sector encompasses nearly 14,000 direct and indirect jobs and nearly $890 million of total labor compensation.  In 2010, the waste-to-energy sector directly employed 5,350 people servicing 85 plants in the United States.  Direct labor earnings for those employees totaled $459 million in wages, salaries and benefits paid to WTE employees in the United States.  An additional 8,557 full time equivalent jobs are created in the U.S. outside the WTE sector, based on an estimated 1.6 additional jobs supported by each direct waste-to-energy job.  As a result of the WTE sector, those nearly 8,600 jobs yielded an additional $429 million in wages, salaries and benefits received by workers outside the waste-to-energy sector.