Connecticut incinerator undergoes upgrades

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A trash incinerator in Hartford, Connecticut, will continue operations despite its age but decrease its intake, a report by New England Public Radio says.

The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority currently takes one-third of Connecticut’s waste, which burns it and converts it to electricity. The facility is more than 30 years old, the report says. Lee Sawyer, a representative of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says in the report that the facility was constructed on a coal-fired power plant and has equipment dating back to the 1940s and 1950s.

The aging equipment frequently fails, Sawyer says in the report. This creates a backup in the waste system, which can be costly.

The department has selected Sacyr Rooney, a Spanish-New York consortium, to upgrade the plant and manage day-to-day operations at the facility for $229 million. Sacyr Rooney plans to take 40 percent of the trash coming to the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority’s incinerator and recycle it. Sawyer says in the report that metals, plastics and fiber will be recycled, and some organics will be sent to an anaerobic digester.

A final contract for the deal is set to be in place later in 2018.

Covanta Fairfax energy-from-waste facility resumes operations

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The Fairfax County Resource Recovery Facility in Lorton, Virginia, has resumed operations after upgrades were completed to improve facility performance and enhance fire detection, prevention and response. The facility had been idle following a fire earlier in 2017.

The energy-from-waste facility owned by Covanta, Morristown, New Jersey, serves the sustainable waste disposal needs of Fairfax County residents, along with other neighboring communities. The facility processes up to 3,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day to produce enough renewable energy to power 80,000 homes continuously. The facility also recycles approximately 9,000 tons of metals annually.

“We are grateful to Fairfax County and the fire and rescue department for their efforts and cooperation while we worked to repair and enhance our systems at the facility. Over the last 25 years, we have been proud to provide the community a vital public service and a sustainable solution for managing waste, so we are happy to be getting back to work,” Joey Neuhoff, vice president and general manager of Covanta’s mid-Atlantic region, says.

Working with Fairfax County, Covanta has implemented new technologies and procedures to enhance fire prevention and response capabilities. Examples include the use of infrared / thermal imaging cameras, the installation of non-flammable roofing materials and expanded sprinkler systems and improved waste storage procedures. Covanta has also worked to improve notification and coordination protocols with the county and the fire and rescue department.