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About Covanta SEMASS

The Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Facility (SEMASS RRF) is operated and managed by Covanta SEMASS Partnership. Covanta SEMASS began full-scale operations in August 1988. It is located on a 95-acre area in the northeastern part of the Town of Rochester, MA. The site presently includes the energy-from-waste municipal waste combustor facility that is divided into fuel and power sides connected by a number of enclosed waste conveyors.

The site also includes an administration building, scale house, parts warehouse, water treatment facility, maintenance garage, equipment yard and three storm water detention basins. The site is bordered by Route 28 (Cranberry Highway) to the north along with light industrial/commercial properties and woodlands, a mixture of wooded, commercial and residential areas to the west, and cranberry bogs and associated wetlands areas to the east and south. The facility is located a short distance from Exit 2 on U.S. Interstate Route 495 for convenient truck access. Rail receipt of solid waste at Covanta SEMASS is accomplished via several rail spurs on the southern boundary of the facility that connect with two southeastern Massachusetts freight rail lines managed by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works.

In addition, the facility has a network of three supporting satellite facilities that form the unique system that Covanta SEMASS uses to manage and control the daily load of incoming solid waste, process this waste and dispose of by-product combustion ash  safely, environmentally compliant and cost-effectively. The network consists of the Braintree Transfer Station and the CMW & Rochester Convenience Center, both for household trash and recyclables, and the CMW Landfill, for ash and by-pass solid waste disposal. The network of these supporting satellite facilities provides significant operational flexibility to the facility.

Covanta SEMASS is the final step in our community’s recycling efforts. At SEMASS and its associated satellite facilities, “resource recovery” is demonstrated every day as we augment our communities’ efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle followed by recovery in the following ways.

Metals Reclamation and Recycling:

In a typical year,  SEMASS recovers nearly 40,000 tons of ferrous (steel) and non-ferrous (aluminum) metals.
Water Reuse and Conservation:

SEMASS utilizes and reuses storm water from the facility, industrial wastewater and landfill leachate (run off) from CMW Landfill and other landfills to meet approximately 29 percent of its annual water needs, conserving approximately 40 million gallons per year of high quality groundwater resources.

Propane Tank Reclamation and Recycling:

SEMASS augments our communities’ efforts to reclaim and properly recycle propane tanks.

Beneficial Ash Reuse:

Processed bottom ash produced as part of the energy-from-waste (EfW) process is beneficially reused at selected municipal solid waste landfills throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of landfill closures. Some of these uses include: grading and shaping material and/or gas venting material prior to final capping. This conserves valuable natural resources such as gravel and sand for use in other applications such as road construction and maintenance, and general residential and commercial development.

Mercury Products Identification, Reclamation & Recycling:

As described previously, SEMASS and our communities and customers identify, divert and properly recycle and reclaim thousands of mercury-containing products each year thereby reducing impacts to solid waste, human health and the environment.