Prospect extends contract with Covanta Energy

The Bristol Resource Recovery Facility and Covanta Energy site in Bristol. –RA ARCHIVE
The Bristol Resource Recovery Facility and Covanta Energy site in Bristol. –RA ARCHIVE

PROSPECT — The town has signed on to convert trash to energy for the next 30 years.

During a town meeting last Tuesday, residents unanimously voted to extend a contract with Bristol Resource Recovery Facility and Covanta Energy for trash disposal.

The contract, which would have expired on July 1, 2014, has been extended 30 years to 2044.

The facility burns the trash and converts it into energy, which is sold back into the state’s power grid.

“The trash energy plant was built just outside the gates of Lake Compounce. I like to tell the kids that the garbage and solid waste we burn in Prospect runs the rides that you kids go ride on in the summer time,” Mayor Robert Chatfield said.

The town currently pays a tipping fee of $64.50 a ton. Chatfield said that when the new contract goes into affect in 2014, the town will pay a lower price, but he did not have the price immediately available.

Chatfield explained that any phosphorus metals that come out of the burners are subtracted from the town’s fee the towns pay the company.

Mark Bobman, executive director of Bristol Resource Recovery Authority, said Prospect has been involved with the plant since its original conception.

“Over the years we started out with eight towns, with Mayor Chatfield being one of the founding members, then added three more. The again, in 1993, added three more towns,” Bobman said.

During the meeting, representatives from the town and the company spoke highly of the partnership.

Mary Ruder, a regional assistant of Covanta, said the towns and the company have always worked well together.

“We’ve had a great relationship for 20 plus years, and we’re looking forward to another 30 years with you,” Ruder said.

Town Councilor Pat Geary was also pleased with the relationship the town has with the company.

“I’ve been very happy with the service we’ve received, regardless of who’s owned the facility. We made the right decision when we made that decision,” Geary said.

However, Geary said that she received call from a resident wondering what the town has done to investigate other facilities.

“We didn’t. There are no other facilities,” Chatfield said.

Chatfield said there had been other facilities, but many closed for numerous reasons. The ones that remain open are far enough away that it would significantly increase the cost to haul the trash.

Chatfield explained that the residents pay for trash companies to pick up and dispose of their trash in Bristol.

“People contract with vendors in town and they transport over to Bristol and I pay for the burn,” Chatfield said.