City board approves recycling deal with Covanta

The Indianapolis Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to approve Covanta as the city’s main residential recycling provider for the next 14 years.

Covanta plans to spend about $45 million to build a recycling facility next to its Harding Street incinerator, which turns waste into steam energy.

Under the deal negotiated by Mayor Greg Ballard's administration, the city would continue to send all household waste to Covanta, but the company would pluck out recyclables and sell them on the commodities market.

The city said recycling center will recover up to 90 percent of recyclables from the trash picked up via normal weekly trash routes. The center is expected to be completed by 2016.

IBJ detailed the proposal in a story published Monday.

“Today’s vote marks a giant leap forward for Indy’s efforts to boost recycling rates,” Indianapolis Office of Sustainability Director Melody Park said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday afternoon. "Immediately upon its opening, the Covanta Advanced Recycling Center will boost the rate of homes recycling from 10 percent to 100 percent. Even more, the center boosts our position as a national leader in sustainability. Years from now, Indianapolis will be recognized as a front-runner in innovative, game-changing recycling technology that benefits communities, the environment and taxpayers.”

This story will be updated.

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