During this period of uncertainty caused by COVID-19, we want the communities and customers we serve to know that Covanta's facilities are still operating. Garbage services are essential to society, and our dedicated employees are on the job to ensure that these services continue in a safe and sustainable manner.
Our top priority is the safety and health of our employees and anyone who enters our facilities. We have taken numerous precautions companywide and are treating all waste as if it could be a carrier of COVID-19.
The good news is that incineration of waste at Covanta facilities eliminates any risk of future infection from that waste. According to the World Health Organization, a temperature of 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to kill viruses. Instead of sending untreated waste to landfills, waste managed at a Covanta Waste-to-Energy facility is thermally treated at nearly 2,000 degrees--ensuring that any waste that could be a carrier of the virus is destroyed.
Amid the biggest public health crisis in memory, Covanta is taking unprecedented steps to ensure the health and safety of employees while keeping critical facilities up and running.
“Maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for all Covanta employees remains our top priority,” said Ginny Angilello, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.
Covanta facilities have limited visitors, and anyone visiting a facility must first fill out a screening survey and take their temperature. Increased supplies of sanitizing products are available for employees, any equipment that requires maintenance or inspection will be disinfected first, and employee common areas are being cleaned on a more frequent basis.
“This extraordinary situation reminds us of the essential role our facilities play in the fabric of society in terms of handling waste and producing energy,” said Covanta President and CEO Steve Jones. “I appreciate the efforts of all our employees who are continuing to run the facilities, as well as those who are working remotely supporting our mission and keeping the business running.”
In a recent letter to Covanta that emphasized the vital importance of the company’s services during the COVID-19 crisis, Kathryn Garcia, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation said, “Covanta employees provide an essential service that is critical to the operation of the City on the best of days, and your tireless efforts are never more important than when the City confronts adversity.”