Materials Management > Zero Waste to Landfill
What About the Ash?
Every downstream waste process generates some amount of waste residual that cannot be processed. Similarly, many recycling processes generate waste streams that cannot be turned into new commodities. WTE facilities generate a non-hazardous ash consisting of the residue of the noncombustible material in waste and materials added for air pollution control, such as activated carbon and lime.
Currently, nearly one-third of our ash is used beneficially as daily cover for landfills, which reduces the need for virgin soils, or for roadway materials. We are now advancing new ways to reuse and recover more materials from our ash. Learn more about our Ash Recycling System.
Roughly two-thirds of the total ash generated in the United States is managed in traditional landfills, either commingled with MSW or other non-hazardous waste, or beneficially reused as a daily cover. The rest is placed in landfills that contain only ash, called ash monofills. Finding additional uses for ash is a key objective for Covanta and the industry.