Pinellas County Waste to Energy Facility

Pinellas County WTE Facility

The Pinellas County Waste to Energy (WTE) Facility processes an average of 2,700 tons per day of municipal solid waste while generating 75 megawatts per hour of renewable energy. Beginning in 2015, more than $250 million has been reinvested into the 40-year-old WTE facility as part of a multi-year repair and replacement program aimed at improving performance levels for boiler availability, throughput, energy generation, and utility and reagent utilization—essentially rebuilding the facility from chute to stack, restoring it to like-new operating condition and extending its life an additional 25 years. During this time, the facility continued normal operations.

The WTE facility is instrumental in supporting the County’s primary vision of achieving Zero Waste to Landfill by 2050 by reducing the volume of incoming garbage, preserving landfill space and providing the primary means of waste disposal. It also plays a key role in the circular economy system by recycling materials from end of life products back into the economy that otherwise would have been lost if disposed of in the landfill. Approximately 60 million pounds of metal is recovered and recycled every year from the combustion residue, enough to create about 19,000 cars. In 2022, the facility processed nearly 1.7 billion pounds of garbage and generated the equivalent amount of electricity to power over 45,000 single-family homes and businesses every day.

Management leadership, employee engagement and proactive safety are the key elements to the facility’s health and safety program and culture. The facility puts being a good neighbor to these homeowners and businesses at the forefront of all operations. Pinellas County has a very active and dedicated public outreach program that educates members of the public about waste reduction and recycling. The county has received a Gold designation through the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Green Local Government Standard, recognizing Pinellas County for outstanding environmental stewardship.