In The Loop

Welcome to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority's Blog

Entries Tagged as Renewable Energy

Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2016 ·

The first Earth Day was celebrated 46 years ago.

At that time, LCSWMA was known as LARA – the Lancaster Area Refuse Authority. Recycling didn’t yet exist as we know it today and our Integrated System was yet to be established.

We’ve come a long way since that first Earth Day.

Today, LCSWMA serves both Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, managing around 900,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) and recyclable materials in a safe, reliable and efficient manner every year. Our award-winning Integrated System helps to keep 96.5% of Lancaster County’s MSW out of the Frey Farm Landfill, and allows us to turn waste from Lancaster and Dauphin Counties into electricity, powering the equivalent of 45,000 area homes.

On Earth Day and every day, LCSWMA is committed to doing all we can to manage waste in the most environmentally-sound way possible. Driven by our guiding principles, we are dedicated to the establishment of sustainable systems that provide the optimum balance between resource conservation and disposal of waste. 

And while we fulfill an essential public need, LCSWMA is also committed to community sustainability though generating renewable energy for the community and reducing our own energy consumption, in addition to fostering open space through building recreational trails and opening a nature preserve for the public to enjoy.

It is our privilege to serve Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, and together, we can help make our communities a more sustainable place to live, work and play.

 

Tags: Recycling · Renewable Energy

Spotlight on Solar

September 01, 2015 ·

In 2012, LCSWMA flipped the switch on a solar energy project installed at our Transfer Station Complex in Lancaster. The project includes 2,000 solar panels that reside on the roofs of the Transfer Building, Small Vehicle Drop-Off Building, Household Hazardous Waste Facility and Maintenance Building.

Collectively, these panels provide around 80% of the annual electric needs for the entire complex.

So, how does it work?

1) The sun produces a vast amount of energy though the process of nuclear fusion. The light energy produced by nuclear fusion travels 93 million miles to Earth where it can be utilized as an energy source through solar panel technology.

2) Each solar panel consists of numerous solar cells. These cells absorb the sun’s light energy through semiconductors and converts it into electrical energy. This process generates direct current (DC) electricity which is then routed to an inverter.

3) Next, the inverter converts the electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC), which is the form of electricity used in consumer appliances, lighting and heating/cooling systems. 

4) Finally, any electricity generated that is not used is fed into the utility grid where it can be used by other customers.

Last year, the solar project generated 577,816 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough to power an equivalent of around 578 homes.

LCSWMA’s solar energy project helps to reduce our consumption and dependency on the energy grid. This project exemplifies our innovative and progressive approach to waste management and our commitment to sustainability.

To learn more about our solar energy project, view our solar energy generation live and see how the solar process works, visit our Solar Dashboard


Solar panel installation on the Transfer Building in 2012. 


Solar panels produce no pollution and cause no harmful environmental effects. 


Solar inverter boxes at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.


View of solar panels on the Small Vehicle Drop-Off Building.  

Tags: Authority Projects · Renewable Energy · Solar Energy