A Cleaner Burn

NYC uses modern incinerators that turn trash into energy for homes and businesses.

New York City’s Zero waste plan is to eliminate taking trash to landfills by 2030.

Waste-to-energy facilities, where trash is burned and converted into energy through incineration, currently receive less than 15 percent of the city’s trash. The leftover ash is then sent to landfills or mono-fills, special landfills just for ash. The largest waste-to-energy company in North America is Covanta, which operates 45 facilities worldwide. New York City Lens visited a Covanta facility in Hempstead, Long Island to see the processes first hand.

— By Soraya Auer and Lauren Hard