Community

The Waste Conversion and Energy Recovery Facility Excellence Award

2022 WCER Facility Excellence award being presented at SOAR 2022.

The Waste Conversion and Energy Recovery (WCER) Facility Excellence Award recognizes excellence in projects that produce renewable energy from solid waste, whether through direct combustion or other methods.

Past Recipients of the WCER Facility Excellence Awards

2021

Nexus Circular

2015

Pasco County, FL

2014

H-POWER (Honolulu Program of Waste & Energy Recovery

Organization of Application

The release statement should be the first document in your submittal. SWANA’s Waste Conversion and Energy Recovery Technical Division has established the following categories by which waste conversion and energy recovery facilities will be evaluated for excellence. Please organize your application according to the eight main scoring sections. The ninth section is used by the judges to evaluate the quality of the application as a whole.

Nominations should address each category if possible. However, nominees are not required to answer every question. Having a complete application for each section does improve chances of receiving the Award. This listing serves as a guide for your nomination. The statements and questions under each section are guidelines for what judges would like to see in each category. You may include other pertinent information that demonstrates excellence. There is a 15-page limit to the written portion of the application (sections 1–8).

Third-party documentation such as awards, news releases, letters of support or summaries of audit/inspection data to document the information in the application may be attached to the end of the application as Supplemental Information. When including documents, you may reduce them in size to fit multiple documents on a page, as long as they are readable, or include a link to a website that contains the requested document. These additional documents do not count toward the 15-page limit.

  • Executive Summary — 5 Points

    In addition to describing your waste conversion or energy recovery facility, explain why you are applying in this category and why you deserve to win an award. Review the category descriptions carefully before applying. Judges will use this statement to decide if your application is in the appropriate category. Applications judged to be in an inappropriate category will NOT be moved. They will NOT be scored, and you will be encouraged to reapply next year.

    OPTIONAL: In addition to a written executive summary of no more than 150 words, you may include a link to a video of no more than 90 seconds that tells the story of your waste conversion or energy recovery facility and its operations. Award winners are required to make a short video feature for use by SWANA to showcase and promote award winners.

  • Facility History — 15 Points

    Describe your facility, how it recovers value from waste and/or generates energy. Describe the uses and markets for the converted byproducts and/or energy generated. How did you plan the initial creation of the facility? Provide a timeline for construction and opening of your facility. Describe challenges that occurred and how you overcame them. What changes have you made since the facility’s initial operation and why (advanced metal recovery systems, advanced air pollution control, advanced fire protection/detection, etc.)? How is the facility integrated with the community’s solid waste management system? How has your facility influenced the industry? What is unique about your facility that makes it deserve an excellence award? Describe the social benefit of your facility to the host community. Is it complementary to an integrated waste management system that has goal of zero-waste? Is it a key piece of a circular economy system that the region is working to mature?

  • Design and Construction of the Facility — 20 Points

    What are the key elements of your facility design? What features impact the type of waste that can be accepted? What elements of sustainable design did you incorporate (e.g., circular economy, water, energy, resilience)? How does the facility’s appearance fit in with the community? What equipment is innovative or state-of-the art? Have you had to replace any equipment, and if so, what prompted the replacement and how did you decide what new equipment to install? How has new equipment improved the operation of your facility? Discuss the sustainability, aesthetics, efficiency, and any features to minimize long-term operation and maintenance costs of the facility.

  • Environmental Controls and Regulatory Compliance — 15 Points

    Provide a summary of historical environmental performance over the last five years (or since project inception if less than five years). What design features and controls are in place to ensure that the facility contributes to environmental protection? What is the overall impact of the facility on human health, environmental quality and resource conservation? How can you demonstrate that the facility complies with local, state and federal regulations? How does your facility impact climate change? What are you doing in terms of residuals and ash management, metals recovery, beneficial reuse of materials, or other recycling and materials recovery efforts? How do you address special waste handling arrangements (pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, manufactured product disposal)? Include any third-party documentation that your facility is environmentally sound in the Supplemental Information section.

  • Coordination and Relationship with the Community — 10 Points

    Describe concerns of your community (city, county or region) to your facility and how you responded to them. How has your facility addressed the issues associated with environmental justice? What are your community outreach and engagement efforts? What is your customer service approach and how is it measured? What results have you achieved with your community relations programs? Please list any relevant awards you have received. How does your organization promote waste conversion and energy recovery and the facility nationally or internationally?

  • Worker Health and Safety — 10 Points

    How did you address safety issues in your planning and designing your facility, as well as in current practice? How often do you provide training to employees? What type of training do you provide? What is your injury rate, and what are you doing to improve it? What engineering and operational controls have you implemented to limit exposure to workplace hazards? What general key performance indicators do you use to measure the effectiveness of the facility’s health and safety program and what are the results? Does your facility have a health and safety incentive/recognition program? If so, how are recipients selected and recognized? Does your facility have any third-party certifications related to health and safety standards (e.g., OHSAS 18001)? Which ones? Describe any awards or recognition of excellence in health and safety performance from any of the following in the past three years: Clients, Industry, Regulatory Authorities, Other.

  • Performance History — 10 Points

    How well has the facility efficiently processed MSW on an annual throughput basis? How have you historically performed with metal recovery and other key parameters/constituents? What methods do you use to analyze how well your facility is performing, and what results are you obtaining from your analysis? How do you use these results for continuous improvement of your facility? Do your results meet or exceed the goals established in your planning process? Describe your maintenance schedule to ensure regular operation. Do you have a recovery plan for service interruptions due to equipment malfunctions or natural disasters? If so, describe the plan and how often it is updated. How are you meeting challenges due to changes in the energy or power market?

  • Economics and Cost Effectiveness — 10 Points

    What are your sources of revenue and how do they compare to your operating expenses? Describe the operating agreement and other contractual commitments and how they relate to cost-effective operation. How do you determine whether your facility operation is cost effective and what are your current results? Please provide a list of enhancements to achieve improved operation and maintenance costs, with shared results to the community. (Include in this discussion any revenue sharing arrangements for the sale of electricity, steam, heat, fuel, chemicals, metals, and anything else that the facility can market).

  • Application Quality — 5 Points

    This is a judges’ category only, not to be addressed in your application. Your application will be judged on its organization and presentation, and on editorial and technical quality.

  • Supplemental Information

    Additional documentation that supports the application can be attached following the first eight sections.

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