Covanta to Receive Honor as One of the State’s Largest Recyclers

Reworld, formerly known as Covanta, in Ward Hill. (Courtesy photograph.)

The Haverhill energy-from-waste plant. (Courtesy photograph.)

Covanta, which operates an energy-from-waste plant in Haverhill, is being honored in June for, among other things, “quietly” becoming one of the largest recyclers in the state.

Covanta, which also operates three other electricity-generating plants in the state, is receiving the 2017 Environmental Business Council’s John A.S. McGlennon Environmental-Energy Award for Corporate Leadership. The company will accept the award during the Annual EBEE Awards Thursday, June 8, in Boston.

“Covanta is honored to be recognized by the Environmental Business Council of New England.  The EBC organization continues to be vital in fostering a high level of communication and environmental standards between regulators and New England industry,” said Covanta Business Manager Mark Van Weelden.

“The company has quietly become one of the largest recyclers in the state, recovering approximately 70,000 tons of ferrous metal and over 4,000 tons of non-ferrous metals annually,” said a statement from the Environmental Business Council. “That’s enough steel to build eight TD Gardens and enough aluminum to make more than 275 million beverage cans every year.”

Covanta is also credited with the proper recycling of mercury-bearing items such as thermostats and thermometers, recovering more than 2,000 pounds since 2009; managing nearly two million tons of municipal solid waste annually; generating nearly one million megawatt hours of electricity—enough for all the homes in Worcester; and being active member of the communities where they operate with such programs as its Rx4Safety, where it organizes prescription drug take-back programs.

“Annually, Covanta’s operations offset nearly two million tons of greenhouse gases by avoiding methane emissions from landfills, displacing fossil-fuel-based electrical generation and recovering metals for recycling,” a council statement summarized.

John A.S. McGlennon, for whom the award is named, was sworn in as the first New England regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1971. He had previously served as a state representative from the Concord/Carlisle district.