The city of Long Beach, Calif., in partnership with Covanta, amended an agreement covering the continued operation and maintenance of the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF).
On August 14, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to provide for the allocation of capital investments by both the city of Long Beach and Covanta for facility equipment maintenance and allow for opportunities to process higher-value waste. The agreement provides for the operation of the energy-from-waste facility until at least June 30, 2024.
“We look forward to working with Covanta on the SERRF in order to continue the city’s ability to prevent landfilling, generate energy and help our city comply with state mandated waste diversion efforts,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement.
In operation since 1988, the SERRF assists the city of Long Beach and the sanitation districts of Los Angeles County with sustainable waste disposal and has been a critical component of the city's comprehensive solid waste management system. After source reduction and recycling, the residual waste that remains is processed at the SERFF to generate clean electricity for approximately 35,000 homes. The facility also recycles nearly 10,000 tons of ferrous metals annually.
“Covanta is pleased to continue our partnership with the city of Long Beach through this amended agreement, which significantly improves the facility’s long-term outlook,” said Christopher Baker, general manager and vice president of Covanta’s West Region, in a statement. “The city of Long Beach has been a leader in progressive recycling and waste diversion for decades and should be commended for its ongoing commitment to sustainable waste management through energy-from-waste, which continues to be the best way to handle waste that remains after reduction, reuse and recycling.”
In 30 years of operation, SERRF has:
- Converted approximately 13.8 million tons of municipal solid waste into more than 6.5 million megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy—enough to power more than 580,000 homes for a year.
- Recovered and recycled approximately 170,000 tons of metal extracted during the disposal process, the equivalent amount of steel used to build 145,000 automobiles.
- Avoided the generation of greenhouse gas emissions through the elimination of methane from landfills, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than CO2.
Under the contract amendment, the city of Long Beach will invest $8.7 million from a dedicated SERRF Fund within the city’s Energy Resources Department, and Covanta will supply an additional $5 million to ensure continued, sustainable operation of the facility.