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The Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility began commercial operation in August 1995. The facility processes an average of 1,500 tons per day of solid waste, generating up to 55 megawatts of renewable energy, enough power for 40,000 homes. All waste is first delivered to the Shady Grove Transfer Station in Derwood, compacted into intermodal steel waste containers and then loaded onto railcars with gantry cranes. Each day CSX assembles the train and makes the 20-mile trip to the facility in Dickerson. There the containers are off-loaded and trucked from the on-site railyard to the facility’s enclosed refuse building. Residue that remains from the process is loaded into sealed containers and shipped by rail to a landfill located in Brunswick, Virginia. This unique rail system allows the County to virtually eliminate truck traffic associated with the facility on the rural roads leading to the facility.

Recycling Waste Into Energy

The resource recovery facility employs mass burn technology from Martin GmbH of Germany. Waste is combusted at furnace temperatures exceeding 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and is reduced to an inert ash residue that is approximately 10% of its original volume.

montgomery-county

Non-recycled solid waste is converted into approximately 63 megawatts of electricity. Completely self-sufficient, the facility operates using approximately 7 megawatts of electricity and the remainder is provided to 40,000 homes and businesses.

Air from the combustion chamber is directed through technologically advanced air pollution control equipment, including dry flue gas scrubbers, nitrogen oxide and mercury control systems and fabric filter baghouses. Facility emissions are strictly regulated by state and federal agencies.

Partners In Solutions

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Solid Waste Services provides local residents with environmentally sound integrated waste management. The resource recovery facility, a key component in the plan, provides energy recovery at predictable costs.

County officials recognize that no single method of waste management can effectively handle all the waste generated by area residents. Other elements of the County’s plan include waste reduction, a comprehensive recycling program, household hazardous waste collection, composting and minimal landfilling.

The Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility is operated by Covanta Montgomery, Inc. and is located 25 miles from our nation’s capital in Dickerson, Maryland.

For additional information, please contact the Authority at
410.333.2730 or email authority@nmwda.org.

For a tour of the facility, please contact
Mark Freedman 301.691.9002.

Visit the real time air emissions page for this facility.

Operations Overview

 

Year Total Refuse Processed Ferrous Metals Recovered (tons) Net Electric Produced MWH Number of Homes Provided with Electricity **
1995* 164,114 5,147 86,623 10,828
1996 422,798 12,473 220,148 27,519
1997 439,622 13,535 234,903 29,363
1998 458,104 12,567 251,774 31,472
1999 487,608 13,613 286,551 35,819
2000 519,977 14,958 305,327 38,166
2001 554,640 16,430 300,045 37,506
2002 601,353 17,765 364,042 45,505
2003 632,548 19,883 371,657 46,457
2004 616,166 19,246 379,481 47,435
2005 583,911 16,726 354,944 44,368
2006 620,666 16,860 371,971 46,496
2007 578,804 14,645 343,955 42,994
2008 573,293 13,480 331,055 41,382
2009 527,623 12,686 282,170 35,271
2010 551,670 10,369 303,075 37,884
2011 556,266 11,355 308,150 38,519
2012 544,647 9,913 310,008 38,751
2013 555,716 9,987 312,539 39,067
Totals 9,989,526 261,638 5,718,419 714,802

 

* Operations began at the RRF in August of 1995.
** Analysis based on average of 8,000 kwh per home.

Source: Covanta Montgomery Operating Data