Florida County signs long-term waste agreement
Tavares, FL— Covanta Lake II, Inc., a subsidiary of Covanta Energy Corporation and owner and operator of the 528-ton-per-day waste-to-energy facility in Okahumpka, Florida has signed a new waste disposal agreement with Lake County, Florida. The new agreement provides that Covanta Lake will provide disposal service to the county through 2014 for its non-recycled municipal solid waste. The county estimates the new agreement will save Lake County taxpayers $37.4 million over the next 10 years.
The implementation of the agreement with Lake County follows the confirmation of Covanta Lake’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan on December 1, 2004 and marks the resolution of all outstanding disputes between the parties.
Commissioner Welton Cadwell indicated “Since beginning operations in 1991, the Lake facility has processed more than 2.2 million tons of waste, helping preserve space at the county landfill in Astatula and saving more than 3.2 million barrels of oil that otherwise would have been needed to generate electricity. That’s a record we can all be proud of.”
The Lake facility, which employs 34 residents of Lake and Sumter counties, operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, throughout holidays and major weather events such as the recent hurricanes that struck Florida. Covanta personnel have operated the facility since it began commercial operations in March 1991.
Using only municipal solid waste as fuel to generate electricity, the facility operates at combustion temperatures ranging up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, firing two boilers that help generate up to 12.5 megawatts of electricity. The power is sold to Progress Energy Corp. and is enough to light up about 12,500 homes and businesses.
Emissions from the facility are processed though a sophisticated system of filters that make waste-to-energy a clean source of renewable energy. In 2003, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said modern waste-to-energy facilities such as Covanta Lake generate electricity with “less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity.”