Covanta signs 5-year extension with Delaware County Solid Waste Authority
- Covanta recently announced a new five-year agreement, including extension provisions, with the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority to process material at a waste-to-energy facility in Chester, PA.
- Since the facility opened in 1992, it has reportedly generated 15 million MWh of electricity and recovered 750,000 tons of metals for recycling.
- This facility handles the estimated 360,000 tons of waste generated by Delaware County each year as well as additional material from surrounding counties. After the metals recovery process, the resulting residue is used as daily cover at Delaware County's local landfill.
Covanta began operating this facility in 2005 and purchased it from GE Energy Financial Services in 2012. The majority of the 80 MW of electricity it generates from processing up to 3,500 tons of material each day is sold to the local utility.
This agreement is much shorter than the 20-year deal signed with Pennsylvania's York County in 2015, though it follows a recent pattern of shorter-term extensions for the company. Within the past year Covanta also signed four-year extensions to continue processing waste at facilities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Unlike those two sites, the Chester facility has attracted sustained community engagement over concerns that it contributes to larger environmental justice issues in the area.
While Covanta has been open with the fact that it sees somewhat limited expansion potential in the U.S., the company also believes its services will continue to be needed for years to come as cities work out the realities of achieving "zero waste" goals. Some major municipalities with such goals, most notably New York, currently have long-term disposal contracts with the company. At the same time, the company has also been growing its special waste operations, a process which CEO Stephen Jones recently told Waste Dive has been a careful one guided by thorough data analysis and strategic planning.
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