Governor Wolf Honors York County Solid Waste Authority for Environmental Excellence

Gov. Tom Wolf has recognized the York County Solid Waste Authority (Authority) for its commitment to the environment through the successful completion of a major Site Improvement Project that ensures environmentally responsible management of York County’s municipal solid waste well into the future. The Authority’s project is one of only 13 projects to win a 2021 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. 

The Authority invested more than $75 million in the Site Improvement Project and construction of an Ash Processing and Recycling Facility that included the following components:

A new scalehouse features four scales instead of two to allow more automation for commercial haulers, more efficient communications with customers and quicker service.  It is located closer to the tipping hall thus alleviating traffic congestion at the site entrance. 

A four-acre customer convenience area includes a waste bunker to serve small haulers, boxes for the placement of special wastes and recyclable materials and space to accept dedicated loads of yard waste. 

The tipping hall was expanded to the north and west and allows transfer trailers to off-load without interfering with the operations of local haulers.  The crane system that delivers waste to the processing trains was updated to accommodate the expanded tipping hall and pit. 

Warehouse and maintenance facilities were relocated to make room for tipping hall and pit expansion.  The Resource Recovery Center’s boiler water treatment system was replaced with newer technology and new air compressors were installed and relocated to better serve the facility.

Thousands of people tour the RRC to learn how municipal waste is managed in the county and how that system impacts our environment and quality of life.  A new education center was constructed to better serve visitors.

Systems were installed to capture a portion of site storm surface and roof water runoff for reuse in the process

Additionally, a new Ash Recycling and Processing facility featuring technology that is the first of its kind in the US, was constructed to enhance recovery of metals, sand and aggregates and reduce the volume of ash remaining.

Notes David Vollero, Executive Director of the Authority: “The site improvements complement our integrated system of waste management and build on our proven use of waste-to-energy technology in a way that is the most cost-effective and environmentally efficient approach to managing York County’s municipal solid waste for the long-term.  The site improvements will set the groundwork for future expansion of the Resource Recovery Center”.

“This year’s Environmental Excellence honorees showcase the innovation and passion that our students, educators, and community and business leaders bring to environmental challenges,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Their dedication brings health, economic, and recreation benefits not only to their communities, but to all Pennsylvanians.”

“There’s a clear message in the powerful results these award-winning projects have had in the field, in their communities, in the classroom, and at the work site: The environment is incorporated into all aspects of our lives, and we can all be environmental stewards,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It’s a privilege to spotlight each year the best of the best among those who understand the importance of this for Pennsylvania, now and in the future.”

Applications were evaluated for their degree of environmental protection, innovation, partnership, economic impact, consideration of climate change and sustainability, and outcomes achieved. 

Collectively, the award-winning projects engaged hundreds of partners and resulted in:

  • Creation of 8.5 acres of wetlands and 5 acres of tree or other vegetation buffers on stream banks to remove over 675 tons of sediment, 6,000 pounds of nitrogen, and 375 pounds of phosphorous annually from waterways;
  • Planting of more than 3,200 native trees and shrubs that will sequester over 400,000 pounds of carbon from the air and remove more than 2,600 pounds of other air pollutants over 25 years;
  • Remediation of 300,000 square feet of hazardous materials and sustainable redevelopment of nearly 200 acres of former industrial property;
  • Education of more than 1,100 Pennsylvania students and nearly 24,000 residents on environmental issues;
  • More than 100 new or updated Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Management Plans or Manure Management Plans;
  • Installation of three air quality monitors for local communities; and
  • Generation of more than 2.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity from solar energy.

Since 1996, the Governor’s Award has been presented to Pennsylvania companies for projects in eight categories: Pollution Prevention; Energy Efficiency/Renewable; Technology Innovation; Management System; Land Use; Industrial Recycling; Recycling and Market Development; and Education and Outreach. The awards were created by Gov. Ridge after taking office in 1995.

Established in 1971, the York County Solid Waste Authority coordinates the environmentally responsible, efficient and economic management of all municipal solid waste generated in York County.  The Authority utilizes an integrated approach to the management of waste that emphasizes waste reduction, reuse, recycling and resource recovery.  The Authority is the owner of the York County Resource Recovery Center and the Ash Processing and Recycling facility in Manchester Township.