Marion County Energy-from-Waste Facility Celebrates 30 Years of Operations

BROOKS, O.R. – Covanta Marion is celebrating 30 years of providing sustainable solid waste disposal operations for the residents of Marion County. Opened in 1987, the Energy-from-Waste facility has processed over 5.5 million tons of waste, saving more than 45 acres of land from being developed into landfills.

”The Covanta Marion Energy-from-Waste facility is the centerpiece of one of the most comprehensive and integrated solid waste and recycling systems in Oregon – and possibly the United States,” said Marion County Commissioner Sam Brentano. “Marion County prioritizes waste reduction and recycling and then recovers energy from the material that remains. We are extremely proud of our innovative and comprehensive waste management system and look forward to a continued partnership with Covanta.”    

Located in Brooks, Oregon, the facility is the cornerstone of Marion County’s solid waste disposal system, consistently processing an average of 550 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) each day. Revenue from the facility has allowed the county to provide its 325,000 residents with innovative waste reduction and recycling programs and has led to an exceptional recycling rate of approximately 52 percent, among the highest in the United States.

“For three decades, Covanta’s partnership with Marion County has yielded amazing results in sustainable waste management and a cleaner environment,” said Christopher Baker, vice president and general manager of Covanta’s West region. “Investing in an Energy-from-Waste facility was the right decision for Marion County in the 1980s and continues to hold true today with the development of a world-class system that has served as a model for those that followed. We are proud of our contribution to this success and look forward to many more years of continued partnership.” 

Since its inception, the Covanta Marion Energy-from-Waste facility has:

  • Generated approximately 2.5 million megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power over 200,000 homes for one year.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by almost 3 millions of tons relative to landfilling - equal to the annual greenhouse gases from over 500,000 cars
  • Recovered the equivalent ferrous metal for recycling that would be used to build more than 100,000 cars

Over the years, the Covanta Marion Energy-from-Waste facility has been recognized for its safety and environmental excellence. These awards include designation as a Voluntary Protection Program Star facility by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for workplace safety excellence, inclusion in Oregon's Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP) and an Excellence Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).  

Covanta Marion is also active in the community and provides local residents and law enforcement with the safe and secure destruction of unwanted pharmaceuticals through its RX4Safety program, which helps deter prescription drug abuse and protects waterways and drinking water from pollution.

About Covanta

Covanta is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle approximately 500,000 tons of metal. Through a vast network of treatment and recycling facilities, Covanta also provides comprehensive industrial material management services to companies seeking solutions to some of today's most complex environmental challenges. For more information, visit

About Marion County Environmental Services

Marion County Environmental Services oversees a nationally-recognized integrated solid waste system that promotes waste reduction and recycling and ensures the safe and sanitary disposal of solid waste. The county maintains one of the highest recycling rates in the state and our communities recycled 52% of all waste generated in 2015. The county sponsors many programs to reduce waste including the Master Recycler training program, which trains citizens how to be better stewards of the environment; the EarthWISE program, which recognizes businesses that have made a commitment to environmentally friendly practices; and the Save the Food campaign that promotes food waste reduction. For more information, visit


James Regan
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