UPDATE: despite strong organizing efforts, an outpouring of community opposition and strong research we've compiled to show how awful this plan is, city council voted unanimously on Aug 13th to approve Covanta's plan that allows 30 years of New York City waste to be brought by train to Chester for incineration. In fact, it'll go through Chester to Wilmington, DE, then will be trucked back into Chester, with five more trucks than they'd normally need since rail boxes are smaller than normal trucks. It's an insane plan and we'll continue to fight it. See Chester Environmental Justice for details.
- by Vince Sullivan, July 24, 2014, Delaware County Daily Times
Dozens of city residents attended Wednesday night’s council meeting to voice their opposition to a proposal that would allow the country’s largest trash incinerator to construct additional buildings on its property.
Covanta’s Delaware Valley Resource Recovery Facility, located in the first block of Highland Avenue, is seeking to construct a 16,000-square-foot building that would enable the facility to handle a different kind of truck traffic. The company recently entered into a 20-year contract with New York City to incinerate up to 500,000 tons of municipal waste each year. The waste would be brought from New York to Wilmington, Del., via train and then the rail boxes would be put onto tractor-trailers to be trucked to Chester.
A Covanta vice president attended two planning commission meetings where he explained that the incinerator is not seeking to increase its trash-burning capacity, which is regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, but said the trash from New York would replace other municipal waste sources. He added that because more trash wouldn’t be coming into the facility, the number of trucks driving to the incinerator would not increase. The rail box building would enable the boxes to be removed from the trucks and emptied onto the tipping floor.
The proposal also calls for a 1,000-square-foot office building. The Chester City Planning Comission recommended that city council deny the application.