Lee County Waste-to-energy plant celebrates 20 years

Lee County, Florida’s waste-to-energy facility converts 1,800 tons of garbage every day into 58 megawatts of electricity, providing power to 35,000 homes.

The project is operated as part of an integrated waste management system that includes recycling, composting and promoting reduced consumption. Burning of waste reduces accumulation of landfills by up to 90 percent.

Last week, the Facility has celebrated its 20th anniversary, encouraging Go green drive in the area along with local community all these years. Each year it processes about 620,000 tons of waste from Lee and Hendry counties.

It is the first operational plant in the United States to be built with a permanent activated carbon injection system for controlling mercury emissions. Emissions from the facility are processed and monitored according to state and federal guidelines.


Commercial operation of the plant began on Dec 1994, which was constructed with a $10 million under budget.

In January 2006, construction began on a third combustion unit capable of processing 636 tons per day of garbage and in 2007, the facility expanded to include a third combustion unit.

It operates non-stop 24 hours every day about 60 employees and consists of county’s recycling, construction, yard and chemical waste facilities.

The firm has formulated plans for opening another facility probably on the south part of the county soon.The 16-acre landfill is 75 to 80 percent full and the area is being expanded to 20 acres in another 10-12 years.

It has won prestigious awards recognizing excellence in design, construction and operation of power generation systems throughout the world.

The Lee County facility also received the prestigious 1996 Environmental Citizen of the Year Award from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

According to the International Solid Waste Association, there are about 90 waste-to-energy plant in the U.S. and more than 400 across Europe.

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