Wheelabrator Technologies, Hampton, N.H., has been named winner of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Gold Excellence Award in the waste-to-energy (WTE) category.
The award, which recognizes Wheelabrator’s exceptional operations in Spokane, Wash., was presented during SWANA’s annual WasteCon conference Sept. 17-19 in Long Beach, Calif.
“The recipients of the SWANA Excellence Awards represent the best solid waste management practices in North America today,” says John H. Skinner, Ph.D., SWANA executive director and CEO. “Community leaders should be very proud of the valuable contributions that these projects provide to their citizens.”
The Wheelabrator Spokane WTE facility is a key component of an integrated solid waste system serving residents and businesses in Spokane County, Wash. Wheelabrator received SWANA’s Excellence Award for the successful performance of the facility operated for the city of Spokane. The award recognizes Wheelabrator’s high-quality service, superior technical design, demonstrated excellence in health, safety and environmental compliance and its ongoing commitment to community engagement, SWANA says.
“Congratulations to Wheelabrator Technologies on its SWANA Gold Excellence Award for the operation of Spokane’s waste-to-energy facility,” says Rick Romero, the city of Spokane’s utilities division director. “We’ve enjoyed a successful public-private partnership with Wheelabrator and its devoted Spokane employees for nearly 23 years. This critical facility provides solid waste disposal services to the county’s businesses and 475,000 residents.”
The Spokane WTE facility processes up to 800 tons per day of municipal solid waste and has an electric generating capacity of nearly 26,000 kilowatts, the equivalent of supplying the electrical needs of 23,000 Washington homes.
Since opening in 1991, the Wheelabrator Spokane facility has:
- Processed more than 11.4 million tons of waste;
- Generated 2.9 million megawatts (MW) of electricity;
- Recycled nearly 325,000 tons of ferrous metals; and
- Engaged more than 60,000 visitors in tours of the site.
Mark Weidman, president of Wheelabrator Technologies, says, “We have been proud to partner with Spokane since 1991. Together, we help local residents and businesses convert postrecycled waste into clean, renewable energy and recover additional materials from the waste stream for recycling.”
Weidman adds, “We applaud all of our employees for their commitment to safety and operational excellence, which has made the Spokane plant an environmental and economic asset to the region. We also extend our sincere gratitude to SWANA for recognizing Wheelabrator Technologies with its 2013 waste-to-energy excellence award.”
The facility directly employs 43 Washington and Idaho residents, many of whom live in the Spokane area, and last year created approximately $12 million of economic activity in the region through direct and indirect jobs, purchases of goods and services and city and state tax payments, according to Wheelabrator.
“This award is a testament to the dedication of Wheelabrator Spokane employees in the safe, clean operation of the waste-to-energy facility,” says Chuck Conklin, Wheelabrator Spokane plant manager. “We are proud to continue our service to the city of Spokane and all of our customers with a demonstrated commitment to environmental compliance and operational excellence for more than two decades.”
Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Houston. Wheelabrator’s 17 WTE facilities provide waste disposal for towns and cities across the U.S. Wheelabrator also operates four independent power plants designed to generate electricity using an assortment of fuels, including waste wood, tires, waste coal and natural gas. In addition to producing electricity, some of these facilities also produce steam sold to nearby government and commercial establishments. Wheelabrator’s 21 facilities have a combined electric generating capacity of 853 MW, enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes.