Covanta York Renewable Energy Systems LLC and the York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority recently announced the extension of their long-term operation and maintenance contract for the York County Resource Recovery Center (RRC) waste-to-energy (WTE) facility located in Manchester Township, Pa.
So what happens next? Covanta says ongoing investments totaling $30 million will ensure the facility maintains performance and safety standards and reliable operations through the life of the contract, which now runs through 2035.
“The $30 million in upgrades is for equipment modifications and system work planned in addition to funds dedicated by the York Solid Waste Authority for facility infrastructure upgrades and improvements,” says Jim Klecko, vice president of sustainable solutions at Covanta. “The facility is one of 4,000-plus sites in the United States—out of a possible 5.2 million—recognized by OSHA as having achieved Star status.”
The agreement takes effect Jan. 1 and continues through Dec. 31, 2035. It is based on the framework of the current service agreement between the authority and Covanta.
“This agreement positions the Authority and Covanta to continue serving York County’s municipal solid waste management needs well into the future by ensuring reliable and outstanding operation of the RRC,” David Vollero, Authority executive director, said in a statement. “Together, we’ve generated significant volumes of electricity for our residents from trash that would otherwise go to landfills. Our partnership with Covanta has played an important role in reducing the County’s carbon footprint and elevating the region as a waste management leader. We’re delighted to continue our successful collaboration.”
Covanta is the operator of the RRC and through this extended contract, the company will continue providing maintenance and daily operations to the facility.
“This extended contract exemplifies Covanta’s ability to extend mutually-beneficial, long-term partnerships within the communities our facilities are located in,” says Klecko. “The York County Solid Waste Board of Directors, the county and its residents have established, and invested in, a first-rate, reliable and sustainable waste management system which will operate for years. We are proud of Covanta's contribution as a critical component of this system and look forward to serving the community for another 20 years.”
The facility has been in operation for 26 years and processes all of York County’s household and commercial waste, as well as some of its non-hazardous industrial wastes.
The RCC was initially developed in response to concerns about landfilling as well as a community desire to use the best available waste management technology. Since the facility began operations in 1989, a total of 10,817,313 tons of municipal solid waste have been converted into 5,516,050 megawatt hours of energy.
“The facility exports more than 220,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually to the local power grid, enough to annually power more than 10 percent of the households in York County and serves the municipal solid waste needs of the more than 440,000 residents in York County, Pa.,” says Klecko. “That electricity qualifies as an alternative energy source under Pennsylvania law. The Authority is self-sufficient through its two revenue streams: the sale of electricity and fees collected for disposal of waste at the RRC.”