Metals and Ash Recycling
Recycling metal allows for the recovery of valuable natural resources and avoids GHG emissions. Recovery of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, brass and copper, reduces GHG emissions by avoiding the energy-intensive process of mining and producing new metals. Covanta’s operations save nearly 1.2 million metric tons of GHGs as CO2e by recovering and recycling 530,000 tons of metals each year. That is the equivalent of removing more than 120,000 cars from the road for a year.
Since 2012, Covanta has made significant investments in recovering metals from our waste stream, thereby avoiding an additional 170,000 tons of metal being sent to landfill per year.
Total Metal Recycled
Covanta views ash reuse as a further opportunity to extract the highest value from our waste streams. We enhanced our operations by opening our first ash processing facility in 2020. Located in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, and adjacent to Covanta’s existing metals-processing facility, the facility separates ash generated from combustion at WTE facilities into its component parts. This enables increased recovery of small metal fragments and aggregate material for further use, significantly reducing the volume of residue sent to landfill.
In 2020, our first shipment of aggregate material was delivered for use in the construction industry. The remaining residues from our ash processing facility are used beneficially at a local landfill for daily cover and as a structural fill material.