Notice: All services are available at the Waste-to-Energy Facility. Please limit trips to the facility and wash your hands before bringing in materials. At the facility, please observe appropriate social distancing and don’t come to the facility if you are feeling sick. More info on City service changes due to COVID-19.

Waste to Energy Facility

Spokane's Waste to Energy (WTE) Facility is part of our community's overall comprehensive solid waste system that encourages recycling and waste reduction—along with the recovery of energy. The facility burns municipal solid waste to recover energy in the form of electricity.

The facility can handle up to 800 tons of municipal solid waste a day and can generate 22 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 13,000 homes. We sell the power to Spokane's Avista Utilities and earn about $5 million in power sales annually.

The process burns the solid waste at 2500 degrees and reduces the solid waste by 90 percent by volume and 70 percent by weight. The resulting ash is biologically inert and is sent to a landfill in Klickitat County for final disposal.

The plant is operated by the City of Spokane's Solid Waste Disposal Department. The City took over operations of the plant in November 2014 to reduce costs and ensure ongoing efficient operations. The change in operations coincided with other changes in how the Spokane community's solid waste is managed. Previously, the plant was operated by a private company under contract with the City.

The facility is regulated by Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Spokane Regional Health District.

The Waste to Energy Facility went on line in late 1991, as part of an overall solution to handle the community's solid waste, replacing non-compliant, leaking landfills.

We selected waste to energy over landfilling because of its waste reduction capacity and because Spokane sits on top of the region's sole-source aquifer. The State of Washington joined us in this effort with a $60 million investment, recognizing our facility as a preferred alternative to aging landfills.

Watch the CityCable 5 video about the Waste to Energy Facility below:

With distance learning now in full swing, the City of Spokane's Solid Waste Department wants to offer a way to stay connected with teachers and students.

Where does my garbage go graphic
  • This 18-minute video teaches students about the importance of reducing waste, as well as the science of Waste to Energy.
  • Print off this worksheet and test your knowledge.
  • Check your answers with this answer key.

This lesson gets students thinking about ways that humans impact the environment, how technological solutions can help manage waste, and how our region deals with its own garbage locally. It's almost like a virtual field trip of our facility!

Items of Interest

Take a Tour

Tours of the Waste to Energy Facility are not being offered at this time due to COVID 19 concerns. To schedule a virtual presentation or for questions, please call 509.625.6521.

New Virtual Tour Available

Take this 12-minute tour and look around, literally all around, the City's Waste to Energy facility. This new tour offers a 360 degree viewing experience for those interested in learning how waste is managed in Spokane. You can also see what the inside of a boiler looks like!