By GREGORY ZELLER //
A New Jersey-based waste-to-energy innovator has extended its partnership with the Town of Huntington.
Covanta Holding Corp., a global provider of waste and energy solutions, will continue operating the Huntington Resource Recovery Facility through December 2024, according to the terms of a new agreement between subsidiary Covanta Huntington and town officials.
Opened in 1991, the HRRF is a solid-waste mecca for the towns of Huntington and Smithtown, processing 1,000 tons of municipal solid waste daily and generating enough megawatts of renewable energy to perpetually power about 20,000 Long Island homes.
The incinerator employs semi-dry flue gas scrubbers, fabric filter baghouses, mercury and nitrogen-oxide control systems and an advanced emissions-monitoring system to keep air pollution in check, in addition to other cutting-edge waste-processing and recycling technologies. Covanta built the 13-acre Covanta Huntington facility and has been its only operator over its 27-year history.
The Town Line Road plant is one of several Long Island facilities managed by the New Jersey-based Covanta mothership, including waste-to-energy facilities in Hempstead and West Babylon and at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.
Covanta also operates a Yaphank transfer station, part of an Island-wide operation that processes approximately 1.8 million tons of waste annually – the lion’s share of Long Island’s garbage.
Continuing Huntington’s partnership with the circa-1939 New Jersey-based energy conglomerate – which operates dozens more facilities around the nation and the globe – “provides our community with a solution to waste management that preserves our valuable natural resources while generating clean energy,” according to Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci.
“This is a winning combination for our residents,” Lupinacci said Monday. “And one that complements our continued efforts to be a more sustainable community.”
In its nearly three decades of operation, the HRRF has converted 8.3 million tons of municipal solid waste into 4.7 million megawatt-hours of energy, roughly the equivalent electricity needed to power 435,000 homes for an entire year.
The Huntington recycling facility has also recovered about 200,000 tons of metal – enough to build seven new Whitestone Bridges – and “avoided the generation” of 6 million tons of greenhouse gases, according to Covanta, equal to a year’s emissions from 1.2 million passenger vehicles.
Rick Sandner, vice president and general manager of Covanta’s New York/New Jersey region, said the HRRF has developed into “a leading waste-management system that includes energy-from-waste for any residual waste that remains after recycling.”
“We are proud of our work in providing safe, reliable waste disposal and a source of clean energy, and look forward to serving these communities for many years to come,” Sandner said in a statement.