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Covanta enters agreement with NYC

Covanta, a sustainable waste management and renewable energy company, announced a new 20 year agreement with New York City Department of Sanitation to transport and sustainably dispose of municipal solid waste (MSW) delivered to a pair of marine transfer stations located in Queens and Manhattan. Covanta is the largest owner and operator of energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities in North America and plans to utilize capacity at existing facilities to convert the city’s MSW into clean energy. It is anticipated New York City will deliver approximately 800,000 tons of MSW per year.

The agreement is for 20 years of service and it provides New York City with options for 2 additional 5-year periods. It calls for waste to be transported via sealed containers using a multi-modal approach including barges and railcars, which will significantly reduce long-haul truck transportation of MSW.

Service for the Queens marine transfer station is expected to begin in early 2015, with service to the Manhattan marine transfer station to follow in 2016 when construction work is expected to be completed by New York City. To fulfill its obligations under this agreement, Covanta must purchase equipment, including barges, railcars, containers and intermodal equipment. Covanta expects its total investment to purchase this equipment will be approximately $110 million. This investment will be made over several years beginning in 2013.

The decision to utilize EfW facilities marks a major milestone in reaching the city’s goal of diverting 75 percent of solid waste from landfills. Recovering energy and metal from post-recycled waste at EfW facilities provides communities like New York City with an environmentally superior alternative to landfilling. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for every ton of MSW processed at EfW facilities, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by the equivalent of approximately one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. This is possible due to the avoidance of methane from landfills, the offset of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel electrical production and the recovery of metals for recycling.