In many solid waste and recycling jurisdictions, municipal solid waste (MSW) plans call for the thorough separation and recycling of secondary commodities such as metals before material is brought to a WTE facility for energy production.
In an article prepared for the November/December 2012 issue of Renewable Energy from Waste, Sarah T. Garvan of the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities, New Rochelle, N.Y., offered insight into that county’s overall solid waste plan.
“Westchester County has developed an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan with the objective of minimizing waste and maximizing reuse and recycling while using waste-to-energy (WTE) technology to dispose of nonrecyclable material,” wrote Garvan.
Since 1984, Westchester County has not landfilled its non-recyclable MSW but has instead delivered it to the Charles Point Resource Recovery Facility, Peekskill, N.Y., for mass burn WTE treatment.
Having access to the WTE plant has not deterred Westchester County from putting efforts into recycling, says Garvan, who notes that the county’s recycling rate has risen from 5 percent in 1988 to “recycling rates [that] had leveled off in the upper 40s” by 2007.
Aluminum and steel cans are collected in curbside programs by municipalities and jurisdictions throughout Westchester County, where they are often brought to the Daniel P. Thomas Material Recovery Facility, constructed by the county in 1992.
Beyond food and beverage cans, however, county residents may throw out all manner of metal objects as part of the MSW stream, creating an opportunity for the operators of the Charles Point facility.
“The WTE facility, which also accepts solid waste from private haulers, is equipped with a magnetic separation system that extracts ferrous metals from the incoming waste stream,” writes Garvan, adding, “More than 12,600 tons of ferrous metal were recovered for recycling in 2011 at the facility.”
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