Finding untapped potential in Waste-to-Energy ash

At the end of the Waste-to-Energy process, an ash residue remains that must be managed and disposed of safely. Finding a better use for this residue has long been a challenge for the industry. Rather than simply sending this material to landfills, we have discovered a way to extract more value from it. Our Total Ash Processing System (TAPS) has tremendous potential to further increase the sustainability of the Waste-to-Energy process and supports our mission of ensuring no waste is ever wasted.

asphalt made from TAPS' recovered aggregate, tested at Rowan University

Asphalt testing at a laboratory


How it works

TAPS is a unique new technology that takes the ash from Waste-to-Energy facilities and further separates it into its component parts. The result is small metal fractions that can be recycled, and aggregate that can be reused in construction material, such as hot-mix asphalt for roads and parking lots and concrete for commercial use. Most importantly, the process can reduce the amount of ash needing disposal in landfills by as much as 65 percent.

A breakdown of the ash materials that result after they make their way through TAPS

Covanta’s first TAPS plant, located in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, is designed to process more than 400,000 tons of ash each year from multiple Waste-to-Energy facilities.