According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), every ton of municipal solid waste processed at EfW facilities reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately one ton. The reduction in GHGs is due to the avoidance of methane from landfills, the offset of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel electrical production and the recovery of metals from recycling.
For every ton of waste processed at an EfW facility, we avoid the need to import one barrel of oil or mine one-quarter ton of coal.
Covanta's facilities serve the waste disposal needs of approximately 20 million people.
EfW complements local recycling efforts. Most communities with EfW facilities exceed the average national recycling rates, with some communities reaching recycling rates as high as 50-60 percent.
Our facilities convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into power for one million homes every year.
The ferrous and non-ferrous metals recovered by EfW contribute directly to our community's recycling rates. Our North American facilities collect approximately 500,000 tons of metal for recycling annually.
“In much of Northern Europe, waste is considered both a material and a financial resource. There is competition to buy waste—even to import it from other countries. As the United States begins to consider waste in a similar way, this puts Covanta in a good position to help communities and companies figure out how to best handle their resources.”
Anders Damgaard, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Engineering,
Technical University of Denmark
We are pursuing opportunities to grow our business in certain international markets where policies are supportive to new EfW facilities as a tool to more sustainably manage waste and reduce GHG emissions. Currently, we are constructing a new EfW facility in Dublin, Ireland. We hold equity interests in a project in Italy and an EfW operating company in China—Sanfeng Environment. In North America, our primary focus is on maximizing our existing operations, through organic growth (e.g., metals recovery opportunities) and targeted acquisitions and projects that complement our existing business.