OKAHUMPKA, Fla. – Covanta, a leader in sustainable materials management and a premier provider of environmental solutions benefitting businesses and communities across North America, announced that emissions data is now available to the public online for the Covanta Lake Waste-to-Energy Facility in Okahumpka, FL, which every year processes 161,000 tons of waste that would have otherwise gone to methane-producing landfills.
With this information now published on the facility's website, the Lake County community is given an unfettered virtual seat into the control room to view the very same data that operators use to monitor operational performance at the Waste-to-Energy facility, which serves county residents with reliable and sustainable waste management.
Waste-to-Energy facilities convert the waste that remains after recycling into electricity for homes and businesses. This technology diverts waste from landfills, which are a major source of methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
“By making this data readily available, we hope to provide the communities of Lake County a feeling of confidence and pride knowing that the waste being processed at the Waste-to-Energy facility is being done so both sustainably and safely,” said Tequila Smith, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covanta, which operates the county-owned facility. “Furthermore, we hope the public comes to appreciate the positive contributions of Waste-to-Energy technology in terms of mitigating global warming, increasing recycling and moving us toward our climate goals.”
Continuous emissions monitoring is an important tool in determining a Waste-to-Energy facility’s compliance with the strict emission limits set forth in its operating permit, which are established in accordance with the federal Clean Air Act and Florida’s regulatory requirements. The Lake facility has been consistently recognized for exceptional operations, including OSHA’s stringent Voluntary Protection Program Star certification, and operates below the established permit’s emission limits.
“The Covanta Lake facility provides a vital service to our community and to our environment. Each year waste from county households and businesses is converted into enough continuous electricity to power 7,000 homes for one year. At the same time, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 139,000 tons – the equivalent of taking 27,000 passenger vehicles off the road,” continued Tequila. “The release of continuous data from Covanta demonstrates transparency and accountability for this sustainable solution.”
With 8 Covanta facilities across the state, Florida relies on Waste-to-Energy more than any other state in the nation for the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of municipal solid waste. Combined, the facilities reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. The facilities also recycle 172,000 tons of metal a year, enough to build 130,000 cars.
Covanta is a leader in sustainable materials management providing environmental solutions to businesses and communities across North America. Through its network of facilities and state-of-the-art services, Covanta is a single-source partner in solving today's most complex environmental challenges. For more information, visit covanta.com.