- Covanta's proposed mixed-waste materials recovery facility in Indianapolis, estimated at $45 million with a roughly $112 million contract, has been put on hold as the mayor’s office conducts research and reassesses plans to build the facility. If the facility is eventually approved, Covanta would take in the city’s mixed trash and recyclables, process and sell the recyclables, and burn remaining waste at its Indianapolis waste-to-energy facility.
- The plan, proposed under the previous mayor, Greg Ballard, has met debate from recycling stakeholders who believe mixing trash and recyclables to be sorted later will amplify contamination and cause expensive processing issues over the alternative of curbside collections.
- The established service agreements between the city and Covanta will stay in place through the review process. Covanta said it will be ready to assist "in any capacity deemed appropriate once the new administration’s due diligence is complete."
Proponents of the "dirty MRF" say processing mixed waste is the only way Indiana can reach its 50% recycling goal. Opponents not only disagree, but they don’t like the contract terms or the way the deal came to fruition.
The city would be penalized for expanding recycling collections and, according to a September 2014 lawsuit against the city, there were not proper procedures in place to assure a contract in the public’s best interest or an open and public negotiation process.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition is happy with the decision to suspend the proposal. Director Carey Hamilton stated, "This is the first step towards developing a first-class recycling program for our city. We look forward to working with the Hogsett administration towards that worthy goal."
Mayor Joe Hogsett stated, "Leadership begins with listening, and I believe Indianapolis deserves a true community conversation before we move forward with any waste and recycling plan."