Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover: On American Recycles Day, Covanta Urges Communities to Think Twice About Trash

Covanta Energy Aims to Raise Awareness Around Recycling and the Important Role Energy-From-Waste Plays


MORRISTOWN, NJ--(Marketwire - Nov 15, 2012) - This November 15th, think twice before you throw away that bottle or can. In observation of America Recycles Day, Covanta Energy Corporation, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, urges you to reconsider what you're putting in the garbage and instead, think about how you can reduce your consumption, reuse materials, and when you can't do either, look closely at what you can recycle. When these three steps are exhausted, communities can recover renewable energy from the remaining solid waste at Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facilities.

"At Covanta, we support local recycling efforts and are always searching for new ways to help communities recycle more," said Seth Myones, chief operating officer of Covanta Energy. "As the world's largest operator of Energy-from-Waste facilities, we're a large recycler ourselves, recycling more than 400,000 tons of metal like steel, iron and aluminum. We've also found that communities with EfW facilities typically achieve higher recycling rates than the national average -- some achieve rates of more than double the national average. We are proud to work with these progressive communities and offer new ways to support their, and every community's, recycling efforts."

Communities with Covanta-operated EfW facilities have achieved some of the highest recycling rates in the United States. These communities have taken the time to focus on developing an integrated waste management program that includes reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering energy from the waste left over.

In Marion County, Oregon, an all-time high recycling rate of 60.8 percent has been attained and in Onondaga County, New York, a rate of 60 percent, its highest rate ever, has been achieved. These communities also offer innovative recycling programs for items such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs, electronic waste and even paint. They are also able to support and subsidize these world-class recycling programs with electricity revenues from their Covanta-operated Energy-from-Waste facilities -- another example of how recycling and EfW go hand in hand.

It is estimated that approximately 3 - 4 percent of waste thrown away is made of metal. Metals such as iron, steel and aluminum are finite natural resources that must be recycled whenever possible. Last year, Covanta's 41 EfW facilities in North America recycled enough ferrous and non-ferrous metal to build five Golden Gate Bridges and manufacture over one billion aluminum beverage cans respectively.

Despite these impressive figures, there is room for improvement. In 2012, Covanta has emphasized the importance of recycling more metal material from operations. The company began installing a first-of-its-kind system for recycling small non-ferrous metal like aluminum and entered into a joint venture to reclaim and recycle metal buried at Energy-from-Waste ash monofills in North America. The process utilizes a proprietary and highly specialized technology that will remove previously monofilled material and clean it, maximizing the amount of metal recovered for recycling. 

Covanta works to go even further with sustainable waste management through the Clean World Initiative (CWI). CWI works to remove potentially harmful materials from the waste stream and recycle or dispose of them properly. Programs include collections for rechargeable batteries, mercury collection programs for unwanted mercury-containing devices such as thermostats and thermometers, and Rx4Safety, the Covanta program that provides the safe disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals and medications collected by household drug take-back programs free of charge. To date, this nationwide program has destroyed approximately 500,000 pounds of unwanted medications, helping to keep waterways and drinking water safe, and removing these drugs from potential abuse.

For more information about America Recycles Day, and information on how and where you can recycle locally, please visit:

About Covanta
Covanta Energy Corporation is an internationally recognized owner and operator of Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects and a recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Covanta's 44 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into 9 million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and approximately 9 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit

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