Covanta opens new facility in Indy to dispose of commercial, industrial waste

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A subsidiary of New Jersey-based recycling and waste management firm Covanta Holding Corp. has opened a new facility in Indianapolis to handle and dispose of commercial and industrial waste.

The new Covanta Environmental Solutions facility, 2515 S. Holt Road, is one of several small former warehousing businesses that Covanta spent “millions” of dollars renovating, according to spokesman James Regan.

However, Covanta declined to provide IBJ with specific financial information on the renovation.

It has been ramping up operations at the site for several months, according to the company, but hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

The facility has 20 workers and it aims to grow that count by 10 workers as the facility ramps up.

The new processing facility is designed to help local automotive, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers, among other businesses, reach or maintain zero-waste-to-landfill status.

The company said the demand for services has started to outpace Covanta's capacity at its existing energy-from-waste facility at 2320 Harding St. that it has operated in Indianapolis since 1988. That plant, known as the Indianapolis Resource Recovery Facility, processes 2,175 tons of solid waste per day, producing about 4,500 pounds of steam sold per ton.

“We expanded the part of the business that handles a lot of industrial and commercial waste,” Regan told IBJ. “It could be liquid waste or solid waste or waste in big metal drums. What we do at the new facility is consolidate it, pre-sort it, shred those drums, and prepare it for processing. It allows us to handle different waste streams and gives us some additional capabilities.”

Covanta reached a controversial deal with the city in 2014 to build a $45 million "material recovery facility" that would handled all the city's waste—garbage and recyclables alike. But that deal, reached under Mayor Greg Ballard, was quickly halted by Mayor Joe Hogsett in 2016. 

Economic and environmental concerns about the project caused Hogett to rethink the city’s approach to recycling.

The new Covanta plant, Regan said, has “nothing to do with that proposal or that process.” 

Hogsett spokeswoman Taylor Schaffer said the city was not involved with the new facility.

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