Turning Waste into Clean Energy

One of the ways we honor our commitment to the environment is by sending the majority of waste from our sanitary disposal units to Covanta, an energy-from-waste facility that safely incinerates and converts municipal solid waste into energy and removes metals for recycling. This allows us to safely dispose waste and keep it out of landfills.

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What is it?

Covanta defines energy-from-waste (EfW) as a process that “takes non-hazardous waste destined for landfills, combusts it in specially designed boilers then recovers the heat to generate steam to use in energy generation or other industrial processes.” Unlike traditional incineration, EfW does not simply burn solid waste with the goal of reducing volume. It creates renewable energy and recovers metals to be recycled. A series of air pollution controls and filters are used to ensure that the air being released back into the atmosphere is safe and clean.

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Why is Energy-from-Waste Good?

Covanta processes 20 million tons of waste, and recovers and recycles 500,000 tons of metal each year. Keeping this massive volume out of landfills decreases the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, which are are comprised of approximately 50% methane, 50% carbon dioxide, and a tiny amount of other organic compounds. Landfills also pollute the air with 170 different pollutants and 46 toxins. Processing one ton of solid waste prevents one ton of greenhouse gases from being released, and for each ton of metal that is saved, 2.4 tons of greenhouse gases are eliminated. Both methane and carbon dioxide trap heat in the atmosphere; however, methane is 86 times stronger and more detrimental. These landfill gases can be converted into energy as well, but EfW is ten times more effective, cleaner, and healthier.

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How has Citron Made a Difference?

Since 2011, we have been sending waste from our sanitary disposal units to Covanta for EfW processing. We have diverted enough waste to power the city of Ottawa for five years! That is enough to sustain the homes and businesses of 934,243 people. Our clients are able to see the difference they are making too, as we can provide them with Waste Diversion Reports detailing how much waste from their facility has been turned into renewable energy and stayed out of landfills.

Sustainability is one of our top priorities, so as a leader in our industry we do everything we can to support it. Besides utilizing energy-from-waste, we recycle all possible materials and properly dispose batteries. You can learn more about our commitment to sustainability here and more about Covanta here.