What is the SRMC?
The Susquehanna Resource Management Complex (SRMC) serves as the drop-off location for waste haulers who collect refuse in Dauphin County and the City of Harrisburg. In addition, haulers and residents may also deliver construction/demolition waste to the site, as well as recyclables to the Recycling Center, which is managed by Dauphin County.
Part of the SRMC includes the nation's first waste-to-energy (WTE) facility, which was previously known as the Harrisburg Resource Recovery Facility. Built in 1972, the WTE facility can process 800 tons per day of solid waste and generate up to 23 megawatts of renewable energy (electricity). In 2012, the facility processed 259,000 tons of waste and generated 91,000 megawatt-hours (approximately 7,600 homes per year) of renewable energy for area homes and businesses.
Two ash landfills are also located on the SRMC site—one that closed in 1980 and the other which stages ash from the combustion of waste at the WTE facility on site. Once the staged ash is dry, it is transported to LCSWMA's Frey Farm Landfill and used as alternative daily cover.
Who is LCSWMA?
LCSWMA is a quasi-governmental agency that manages the municipal solid waste and recyclable materials from residents and businesses in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. LCSWMA manages the municipal solid waste for Dauphin County residents and
businesses as well.
In Lancaster County, LCSWMA employs a multi-step approach to trash disposal and processing, called an Integrated System, which consists of the following: (1) a county-wide recycling program; (2) a drive-through household hazardous waste facility; (3) a transfer station, permitted to accept up to 2,200 tons per day; (4) a 1,200 ton per day WTE facility, for the combustion of waste and production of electricity; and (5) the Frey Farm Landfill, permitted for the disposal of 2,000 tons of waste per day.
This Integrated System not only saves significant landfill capacity, it also creates clean, renewable energy (electricity). In fact, LCSWMA generates enough renewable energy to power 1 in 6 Lancaster County homes. For more information, click here to visit LCSWMA's website.
LCSWMA acquired the SRMC to secure future waste processing capacity and initiate a regionalized approach to managing municipal solid waste for Lancaster County and Dauphin County. This type of expansion is more cost-effective and offers less risk than expanding the WTE facility in Lancaster. In addition, it presents an opportunity for LCSWMA to bring our expertise and excellence in waste management to neighboring Dauphin County, and together, work towards a better Susquehanna Valley region.
What is Covanta's role?
Covanta Energy is the company contracted to operate the WTE facility component of the SRMC. Covanta became the operator in 2007 and was critical in the final retrofit of the facility, providing their expertise in a successful upgrade where the facility is now an asset and functioning well. Covanta also operates LCSWMA's WTE facility in Lancaster and has been a valuable partner for decades.
Within the industry, Covanta is world-renown for its waste-to-energy projects, with over 44 facilities across the globe. In North America, Covanta's facilities produce enough electricity to power approximately one million homes. To learn more about Covanta Energy, visit www.covantaenergy.com.
How does waste-to-energy (WTE) work?
The waste-to-energy (WTE) process offers a safe and innovative means for disposing of waste while also generating clean, renewable energy (electricity). By combusting trash, instead of disposing in a landfill, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and land is preserved. Additionally, the WTE process supports recycling through the recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Why do we call it waste-to-energy and not incineration? Decades ago, waste was "incinerated" through a combustion process that had no emissions control, no means of renewable energy generation and no metal recycling component. Today's modern WTE process uses advanced pollution control technology to scrub emissions and prevent them from entering the environment. Additionally, the WTE process converts water into steam which drives a turbine to create electricity for local homes and businesses and recovers metals for recycling.
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