IT3/HWC Technical Tour

IT3/HWC Conference Technical Tour

Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 • 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cost: $35 includes transportation
Pre-registration is required by April 4. (Registration is now closed.)

The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA) operates two Renewable Energy Facilities. The REF 2 project is the first of its kind in more than 15 years and the most advanced and cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in North America. REF 2 is estimated to reduce the amount of waste going to SWA's landfill by up to 90 percent while generating 100 megawatts of electricity, enough to provide power for 44,000 homes and businesses.

At capacity, REF 2 processes more than 1 million tons of post-recycled municipal solid waste annually and 3,000 tons daily. Unlike REF 1, where post-recycled municipal solid waste is processed into refuse-derived fuel, REF 2 is a mass burn facility. The facility is equipped with three B&W boilers (1000 t/day each) and the state-of-the-art Volund Wave Grate system, which allows for more complete combustion and greater volume reduction of the waste. Each boiler generates 284,400 pounds per hour of superheated steam which drives a turbine generator to produce electricity. REF 2 recovers about 90 percent of ferrous metals and 85 percent of nonferrous metals from the ashes after the incineration process. It is expected to recover an estimated 27,000 tons of steel, aluminum, copper and other metals annually after the trash is burned.

REF 2 benefits from the best available pollution control technologies, ensuring very low air emissions. In fact, REF 2 meets emission permit limits that are the lowest of any renewable energy facility currently combusting municipal solid waste in the USA. REF 2 features a unique rooftop rainwater collection system that includes a 2 million gallon cistern. This system provides a portion of the water necessary to operate the facility, reducing REF 2's use of treated water.


Dress Code: Closed-toe, comfortable walking shoes (no heels), long pants, and long-sleeved shirts are required to enter the facility. The tour is about two hours long and you will be walking the length of approximately three football fields. Personal protective equipment will be provided, including a hard hat, vest, protective eye gear, and protective hearing equipment. 

All attendees must sign a liability waiver in advance to participate.