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Waste-to-Energy Firm Covanta Partners With RecycleForce on Indianapolis Staffing

Waste-to-Energy firm Covanta Holding Corp. is partnering with RecycleForce to staff operations at its recycling center in Indianapolis scheduled to begin construction later this year.

Indianapolis-based RecycleForce provides electronics recycling and social services to help formerly incarcerated individuals rebuild their lives by breaking down the barriers to employment through transitional jobs and workforce training, according to a news release.

"By partnering with Covanta on the Advanced Recycling Center, we can move the best and most productive of our workers into private sector employment, which then opens up spots for new referrals," said Gregg Keesling, RecycleForce president. "Covanta will gain experienced workers who will transition from our program into entry-level and then skilled-level jobs while getting paid living wages to support them and their families. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved."

Covanta will hire about 60 permanent, full-time workers to operate the facility once construction is completed. The two firms have not determined the exact number of jobs to be filled through RecycleForce.

Covanta plans to open the recycling facility in 2016.

Employees hired through RecycleForce are expected to fulfill quality control functions after materials pass through the Covanta material recovery facility (MRF). "We're excited about our new partnership with RecycleForce, which will create meaningful employment opportunities for hardworking people who deserve a second chance," said Scott Holkeboer, Covanta market area vice president.

Covanta also is exploring other staffing opportunities with RecycleForce.

Covanta is investing $45 million to build the Advanced Recycling Center next to its waste-to-energy facility.

The project has not been without controversy, however. Two paper companies and a private citizen sued the city of Indianapolis over a recycling deal with Covanta. A Marion County judge earlier this month ruled against the plaintiffs, saying their complaint lacked legal standing.

Graphic Packaging International, Rock-Tenn Converting Company and Cathy Weinmann had hoped to stop the city from proceeding with a contract running through 2028, which guarantees the city’s municipal trash will continue going to Covanta’s Harding Street incinerator.

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