One of the West End neighborhood’s landmarks is the Covanta waste-to-energy plant on Eisenhower Avenue. It’s unmissable, both because of its tall exhaust pipe and also because of the plumes of steam which are omnipresent. The plant is right across the street from the Van Dorn metro station, so I see it a lot.
After my curiosity finally got me to look at the Covanta website, I was impressed to learn that this is where Alexandria’s garbage goes instead of a big, stinky landfill. The Covanta plant exudes no odors and no noise to speak of, turns garbage into energy, thus reducing the need for fossil fuel, and does it in a way that doesn’t damage the environment. Why aren’t there more of these plants around?