Covanta Tartech has begun operating a metals recovery and recycling system at an ash monofill located in Peabody, Mass., and says it expects to recover thousands of tons of metal that has been deposited in the Peabody ash monofill over time.
Covanta Tartech, a joint venture of Covanta Energy and Tartech Eco Industries, uses a proprietary technology to recycle metals from ash that remains from the energy-from-waste process. The Peabody facility is the first under the partnership.
Covanta chief operating officer Seth Myones says recovering metals for recycling from ash monofills reduces greenhouse gases, saves energy and returns natural resources back into use.
Recycling 1 ton of aluminum reduces greenhouse gases by 9 tons and making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy than using virgin materials, the waste management and renewable energy company says. For steel, every ton recycled avoids the mining of 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone and saves 75 percent of the energy that would be used to create steel purely from raw materials.
In 2012, Covanta’s energy-from-waste facilities in North America recovered more than 415,000 tons of ferrous and more than 16,000 tons of non-ferrous metal for recycling.
Covanta’s current metals recycling efforts prevent more than 800,000 tons of annual CO2 emissions, the company says. For every truckload of metal recovered from the monofill metals recovery process, an additional 70 tons of CO2 will be avoided.
For every ton of municipal solid waste processed at energy-from-waste facilities, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by the equivalent of approximately 1 ton of CO2 emissions, Covanta says. This is 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.
In late October, Covanta Energy and Turning Earth partnered to divert organic waste from Connecticut businesses and municipalities and turn it into renewable energy and compost. Covanta has also partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration of Arkansas and Texas to safely destroy more than 44,000 pounds of unwanted medications and turn them into clean energy.