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Recycling metal saves resources and provides important environmental benefits

Did you know that roughly 2-3 percent of all post-recycled waste is metal that can be recycled? After combustion, Covanta uses a variety of technologies to recover the metal that remains in the ash for recycling. Recycling metal from Waste-to-Energy facilities avoids a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases and recovers valuable natural resources that would have otherwise been lost in landfills.

We are a leading metal recycler in the United States

We recycle approximately 600,000 tons of metal each year, both ferrous (e.g., steel) and non-ferrous (e.g., aluminum, copper). That adds up to enough steel to build over 400,000 automobiles and enough aluminum to manufacture more than 3 billion beverage cans.

Environmental Impact

The production and mining of new steel, aluminum, copper and other metals products is a carbon-intensive process that is environmentally disruptive. Instead of this metal going to landfills and being lost forever, we recycle it and save more than 1.2 million tons of greenhouse gases every year — the equivalent of pulling approximately 113,000 cars off the road for the year.

Did You Know...

That in the United States, approximately 7.5 million tons of metal goes to landfills each year?

If recycled instead, that metal could be used to build the equivalent of more

than 90 Golden Gate Bridges.

Higher-Quality Metals

Total Ash Processing System (TAPS) facility in Fairless Hills, PA separating the ash from the left over metal

We have made substantial strides in increasing the quality and quantity of the metals we recycle. An 
important part of that journey is our metals recycling and processing facility in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. The facility improves the quality of recycled metal and increases its value by using advanced processing techniques to recover, clean, sort and deliver different types of metal that are ready to be made into new products.