Lancaster Waste-To-Energy (WTE) Facility

Visit our Disposing Trash page for more information about materials that may be delivered to the Lancaster Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility.

We ask for your cooperation when delivering loads to the Lancaster WTE Facility. Help us protect the environment by securing and tarping your loads to prevent litter on local roadways. Not only is this required by all Lancaster County municipalities, but shows courtesy to residents and businesses located on roads leading to the Lancaster WTE Facility.

A collage of images featuring an exterior view of the Waste to Energy Facility, a worker adjusting a control panel, pipes and machinery inside the facility, and a Waste to Energy branded truck delivering a load inside the Waste to Energy Facility

Waste delivered to the Lancaster WTE Facility is deposited onto a large tipping floor, where LCSWMA uses heavy equipment to push the waste into a storage pit. An overhead crane mixes the waste to ensure even combustion, before feeding it into one of three boilers. Each boiler burns waste at a minimum of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and can process up to 400 tons per day.

Tubes surrounding each boiler convert water into steam. The steam spins a turbine, which is connected to a generator that has the capacity to produce 36 megawatts. Approximately 25 megawatts is sold into the local energy grid, which is enough to power the equivalent of 25,000 area homes. During the combustion process, the facility uses an extensive emissions control process to clean the air before it exists the stack.

Through the WTE process, the volume of waste is reduced by 90%. Ferrous and non-ferrous materials are removed from the remaining ash and recycled. The ash is then taken to the Frey Farm Landfill and used as daily cover. LCSWMA also sends 15-20% of steam from the Lancaster WTE Facility to the Perdue Soybean Processing Facility next door, where they use it in their operations instead of fossil fuels. Click here to learn more about the Perdue partnership.

Watch the video on the right to learn more about the Lancaster WTE Facility and its role in the Integrated System.

Role in the Integrated System

The majority of Lancaster County’s municipal solid waste is taken to the Lancaster WTE Facility, located in Conoy Township. Built in 1991, this facility’s primary purpose is to burn combustible waste to create reduce waste volume and save landfill capacity, provide clean energy, recover materials and create steam. The Lancaster WTE Facility is permitted to process up to 1,200 tons of waste per day. LCSWMA contracts with Covanta Energy to operate the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Like all of LCSWMA’s facilities, the Lancaster WTE Facility is subject to rigorous regulatory oversight. It has an excellent record of meeting and exceeding all state and federal environmental standards. In fact, on average, the Lancaster WTE Facility operates at 99% below air emission limits set by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.