By Karen Gross, Communications Manager, LCSWMA
The role of the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) is to manage the nearly one million tons of municipal solid waste and recyclables that trash collectors and residents bring to its facilities. LCSWMA’s award-winning Integrated System, which has an outstanding history of environmental excellence, is preserving land and generating renewable energy.
The vision of LCSWMA goes beyond safe waste disposal. For decades, its leadership and staff have explored opportunities, initiated collaboration, and created partnerships in Lancaster County that have helped LCSWMA reduce its carbon footprint and improve the quality-of-life in the communities it serves.
Several business partnerships have allowed the Authority to expand its renewable energy footprint including the well-known Turkey Hill wind project.
In 2010, LCSWMA partnered with PPL Renewable Energy, now Energy PowerPartners, to install the first commercial-scale wind project in south-central Pennsylvania. This 3.2 megawatt wind project is located on a non-operational portion of the Frey Farm Landfill site. Two General Electric turbines, overlooking the Susquehanna River, directly confront prevailing winds from the northwest.
The electricity generated by this project is sent via underground lines to neighboring Turkey Hill Dairy, where it is used to power their manufacturing operations. In fact, 21% of their annual electric needs are fulfilled using clean, renewable wind energy from this project.
Collectively, the two wind turbines generate about 6.18 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. That’s enough power to make about five million gallons of ice cream!
Moving from Manor Township to Bainbridge, we find another business partnership that is a perfect example of how the Authority is using waste as a resource to benefit the community. Partnering with Covanta, a global leader in sustainable materials management, LCSWMA’s Waste-to-Energy Facility combusts household waste to create enough renewable energy to power one in five county homes.
In 2017, another business partnership was brought to fruition as Perdue AgriBusiness completed construction of a 1,500 ton-per-day Soybean Processing Facility adjacent to LCSWMA’s Conoy Township site. Steam generated from LCSWMA’s waste-to-energy facility is piped directly to the plant and lowers Perdue AgriBusiness’ emissions by avoiding the need to use fossil fuels to create steam.
Rethinking waste for a sustainable future goes beyond innovative business partnerships. LCSWMA is intentional about supporting like-minded community organizations that are also focused on preserving land, protecting the environment, creating recreational opportunities, and being good stewards of natural resources for future generations.
Here are a few of these partners throughout Lancaster County.
Susquehanna National Heritage Area
“LCSWMA is a vital partner in our efforts to connect people to the Susquehanna River and its rich history. LCSWMA’s financial investment and engagement with heritage and outdoor recreation projects along the river have been outstanding. Our work together makes our river towns and landscape a better place to visit for residents and travelers alike.”
Mark N. Platts, President
“The Susquehanna River is a critical resource we share with LCSWMA. The Conservancy protects the natural lands, forests, and glens, and we are grateful for LCSWMA’s investment in partnerships that enhance the river corridor.”
Phil Wenger, Present & CEO
Safe Harbor Trestle Bridge
“Manor Township has benefited from the partnership with LCSWMA through the years, and more recently with the rehabilitation of the Safe Harbor Trestle Bridge. Their commitment to give back to the community was a key factor in bringing this historical landmark back to life for everyone to enjoy.”
Ryan Strohecker, Manor Township Manager
Lancaster City Alliance
“As a long-time supporter of the Lancaster City Alliance, LCSWMA lives their core value of stewardship by investing in a clean, safe, and vibrant city for all.”
Marshall W. Snively, President
LCSWMA understands that when we work together, we thrive in business and as a community. Forming unlikely partnerships will make us stronger and our quality-of-life better for generations to come.
This article was first printed in our Spring/Summer 2023 Edition of Thriving Magazine. You can read more here: Lancaster Chamber Thriving Magazine