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The U.S. is way behind Europe and China in converting waste into energy?

Covanta maintains the land free of waste

Covanta maintains the land free of waste

Stephen Jones the new CEO of Covanta, stated in a recent interview that the U.S. is well behind Europe and China on the market of converting waste into energy.

Jones says that in Europe and China, they already found places with better regulatory supports than they have in the U.S., for example in Dublin, Ireland, they are already building a facility that will turn waste into energy.

It seems that the EU has a better jurisdiction from the standpoint of growth possibilities, and even China has better regulatory supports, different than the U.S., but better and more oriented to the investor.

In the U.S., they already have power from waste and they look at this possibility only in the communities where waste creates real issues.

The drop of the oil prices has affected all the renewable energy sector including the “waste to energy” branch, but Jones says that the biggest “enemy” of the renewable energy is the natural gas not the oil.

The use of waste to produce energy is considered an alternative power, and we better use all the waste available to produce energy instead of depositing the waste into landfills where methane gas will be produced and will pollute the atmosphere.

In terms of support received from the federal government in this matter of turning waste into energy, Jones says that this support is not very extended, and if we compare this government support with the support received from the EU and China, we can say that these foreign governments seem to be more forward-looking on what they need to do to solve their issues with the waste.

In Dublin, Ireland, Covanta has a plant under construction at this time, and they are working with the Dublin City Council and with regional authorities because the city produces around 600,000 metric tons of waste per year, and this is a great source of raw material for the power plant.

In Dublin, this solution is considered a sustainable one because the quantity of waste produced represents a never ending supply source for the power plant.

The power plant which is now built in Dublin represents a 500 million euros investment, creates about 500 construction jobs, and to operate, will require about 100 permanent jobs.

Covanta has good returns on the project from the shareholder standpoint, and this offers them good conditions to continue the energy from waste business.

Covanta offers also recycling services in the U.S., and they plan to build a facility in Indianapolis, but they are now in the permitting phase for an Advanced Recycling Center in Indianapolis.

It seems that Indianapolis has pretty low recycling rate and they search for a no-cost or low-cost way to recycle this waste.

They plan to take a single stream of waste and to use advanced sorting in order to recover 80 to 90% of plastic, paper and metals from the waste stream.

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