Dutchess County Resource Recovery Facility

Solid Waste Management
Lindsay Carille, Deputy Commissioner


Waste-to-Energy Plant in the Town of Poughkeepsie

Dutchess County historically handled solid waste with the use of landfills.DC Airport Landfill, 1971 At one point there were 115 public and private active and inactive landfill sites in Dutchess County, and of these, over 60 were listed as inactive hazardous waste disposal sites by the NYSDEC. Photo: Dutchess County Airport Landfill, 1971

By the early 1970’s Dutchess County recognized that land disposal was not a sustainable way to handle solid waste and a new plan was needed. By 1980 the County had decided to use technology known as mass burning and opened the Resource Recovery Facility in 1987.

DCRRA Facility in Poughkeepsie

The Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency (DCRRA) was established in 1982 to oversee the construction and operation of the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF). The prime objective of the Agency has been to make Dutchess County self-sufficient in the management of solid waste by providing a publically owned disposal facility. The RRF has been in operation since 1987 and is currently being operated by Wheelabrator Dutchess County LLC, with oversight by DCRRA.


DCRRA Facility Layout


The RRF has a capacity of processing 164,000 tons of waste per year and has a turbine that converts energy from the waste, which is then sold to Central Hudson Gas & Electric. The facility can turn 450 tons of waste into 9.3 megawatts (MW) of renewable power every day, enough to power over 10,000 homes. The facility also recovers 10 to 14 million pounds of ferrous metals from the waste for recycling each year.

Dutchess County has made significant strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to emissions from a landfill based system, removing approximately 31,341 tons of carbon equivalents from the environment per year. With the installation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) in 2005, emissions of regulated pollutants are well below allowable standards mandated by the Clean Air Act. In addition, the thousands of gallons of fuel not burned traveling to a regional landfill for disposal, at an average round trip of 500 miles per trip, has meant an avoidance of greenhouse gases. Using an average of 150,000 tons of waste processed at the facility per year over the past twenty-two years, the facility has avoided disposal at a landfill of over 3.4 million tons of waste.

Please visit the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency web page for additional information on solid waste disposal, recycling, household hazardous waste disposal events, and other solid waste disposal and recycling services. If you are interested in learning more about the energy-from-waste process and would like to take an educational tour of the waste-to-energy facility, please contact the Agency at (845) 463-6020 to schedule a tour. 

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