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Covanta and Turning Earth to provide organics recycling

Covanta Energy Corporation, a sustainable waste management and renewable energy company, and Turning Earth, LLC an organics recycling company, have entered into a partnership to provide organics recycling to Connecticut municipalities and businesses. The 10 year agreement calls for Turning Earth to build, own and operate an integrated organics recycling facility in central Connecticut to which Covanta will divert organic waste for beneficial reuse in partnership with municipalities and commercial customers. Covanta and Turning Earth will explore future opportunities in the Connecticut and Massachusetts region.

The facility will be powered by Aikan™ Technology, a patented high solids anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting system which converts organic waste streams into several valuable and environmentally beneficial products including renewable base load energy and high quality compost. Organic waste residuals provided by Covanta will come from Connecticut communities and businesses and will be comprised of yard waste, food waste and other organic waste streams.

Stephen Diaz, Covanta Energy vice president, commented, “Organics recycling is important to our customers and an important part of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s goals. This arrangement will now enable Covanta to provide our area municipal and commercial customers the ability to include organics recycling within their sustainable waste management programs.”

Covanta’s energy-from-waste facilities will continue to provide disposal for post-recycled waste. Covanta’s Connecticut facilities generate clean, renewable energy for more than 34,000 homes in the state and recycle enough metal to build more than 12,000 automobiles annually.

Organics recycling, like energy-from-waste facilities, plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gases. When organic waste decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane into the environment, a potent greenhouse gas that is 72 times more powerful than CO2 over a 20 year period. Reducing and avoiding methane emissions from landfills, which are the third largest source of methane in the U.S., is one of the best ways to achieve a near-term beneficial impact in mitigating global climate change.

Christian Christensen, CEO of Solum Group and creator of the Aikan Technology remarked, “Aikan is a proven Danish technology that we have been working in partnership with Turning Earth to commercialize in the U.S.”

Joanna Underwood, president of the national environmental organization Energy Vision, stated, “Organic wastes, which we have long just treated as ‘garbage,’ are in fact one of this country’s most valuable energy sources. With today’s technologies, they could displace up to 25 percent of all diesel fuel. We strongly support this groundbreaking Covanta-Turning Earth project.”

Facility construction is anticipated to begin in the latter half of 2014 following site selection, the receipt of permits and procurement of organic waste.