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Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County Opens Transfer Station at WTE Plant

Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County has opened a $5 million transfer station at the former Harrisburg waste-to-energy (WTE) plant that it bought.

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) opened a 29,800 sq.-ft. facility that adds transfer, maintenance and administrative capacity to

Susquehanna Resource Management Complex (SRMC), according to a news release.

LCSWMA will use the facility primarily for construction and demolition (C&D) waste loads and smaller customer deliveries.

The design of the facility keeps residents and smaller haulers off the main tipping floor of the WTE plant and out of the way of larger waste trucks. LCSWMA said it improves traffic flow, reduces customer on-site time, and increases safety for customers and LCSWMA staff.

LCSWMA has invested about $8.6 million in other changes at the SRMC site since it acquired it in late 2013. Those alterations include: moving the main site entrance; installing a new scale house with separate inbound and outbound scales; numerous upgrades to the WTE plant; and improvements to site aesthetics. Those upgrades have increased site traffic and reduced on-site/cueing time by an average of 50 percent, the authority said.

The WTE facility in Harrisburg burns 800 tons of waste per day to generate electricity. LCSWMA also operates a 1,200 tons per day mass burn WTE facility in Lancaster. In addition, it operates a transfer station permitted to handle up to 2,200 tons per day; the Frey Farm Landfill, permitted for disposal of 2,000 tons of waste daily; a countywide recycling program; and a drive-through household hazardous waste (HHW) facility.

 LCSWMA purchased the former Harrisburg Resource Recovery Facility for $129.9 million. The purchase included 20-year waste disposal contracts with the city of Harrisburg and Dauphin County, in addition to a 20-year power purchase agreement Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services.

The project represented the first public-to-public acquisition of a WTE facility in the United States and was a key ingredient in relieving the distressed city of Harrisburg from more than $360 million of debt. It increased LCSWMA’s system to managing about 900,000 tons of solid waste in all, with annual revenues of about $85 million.

Covanta Energy has continued operating the WTE facility portion of the site under an amended agreement with LCSWMA.

The Frey Farm Landfill though has been the site of some controversy. In July at a town meeting people protested a proposed $56 million expansion of the landfill, to raise its height another 50 feet and expand the capacity of the landfill by 18-20 years.

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