Lee County’s Solid Waste Resource Recovery Facility receives Florida award

Lee County, Florida and Covanta Energy announced that the $120 million expansion of Lee County’s Solid Waste Resource Recovery Facility has received the 2009 Best Practices Award in the Partnership category from Sustainable Florida – Collins Center, a statewide organization committed to promoting the balance of economic interests with the need to be socially and environmentally responsible.

A partnership arrangement between Lee County and Covanta Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Covanta Holding Corporation, built the expansion project. Covanta Energy operates the expanded facility under a long-term contract with the county.

The Lee County facility plays a pivotal role in securing the long-term sustainable environmental future for the 640,000 residents of Lee and Hendry counties. It safely disposes of all municipal solid waste generated in both counties, using trash as fuel to produce clean, renewable electricity.

The expansion increased the facility’s capacity approximately 50 percent, enabling it to process an additional 636 tons of municipal waste per day. The facility now processes 1,836 tons of municipal solid waste daily, while generating up to 57.3 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power 36,000 homes.

Since 1994, the Lee County’s Solid Waste Resource Recovery Facility has processed more than 5.5 million tons of waste and offset 5.5 million tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of planting 127 million trees. The facility uses secondary sewage treatment effluent from a city-owned treatment plant for the majority of its process water. The facility is also equipped with both ferrous and non-ferrous recovery systems and has recycled 145,000 tons of metals from the waste stream. The facility expansion was also named 2008 “Project of the Year” in the renewable energy category by Power Engineering magazine.