Covanta Chester Incinerator Contract With County Has Detractors

The Covanta incinerator, a waste-to-energy facility in Chester.
Image via Kimberly Paynter, WHYY.
The Covanta incinerator, a waste-to-energy facility in Chester.

Not everyone’s thrilled with Delaware County’s new three-year contract with Covanta Holding Corp. to continue sending trash to an incinerator in Chester, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.

 “If you don’t deal with the health issues first, and the health ramifications of this thing, then it should be a full stop on everything. Everything,” said Zulene Mayfield, who chairs Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living.

The contract is between the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority, an independent body appointed by County Council, and Covanta. An existing contract was set to expire this month.

About 30% of the trash burned annually at Covanta’s Delaware Valley Resource Recovery Center comes from the Delaware County Authority.

Some community members are protesting that Delco trash goes to an incinerator in the predominantly Black city of Chester and that city residents deal with the pollution fallout.

Delaware County Councilmember Christine Reuther said the new contract doesn’t penalize the county for reducing the amount of trash it sends to the plant. That opens the door for non-incineration options, like recycling.

Mayfield would like the county to have the same urgency in Chester it had when it stopped Marple development by creating a park.

Read more at WHYY about the new country contract with Covanta.

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