Shrewsbury Landfill May House Solar Panels

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Wheelabrator General Manager Donald W. Musial explains how ash is stored at the company's Shrewsbury landfill. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck
The landfill is located off Route 20 in Shrewsbury. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck

SHREWSBURY, Mass. - The ash landfill off Route 20 in Shrewsbury may be sprouting some trees over the next year, and maybe even some solar panels.

Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc., which operates the landfill, has been in touch with Con Edison representatives about installing solar panels on areas where the landfill has been capped with soil and grass, according to Donald W. Musial, landfill general manager.

Wheelabrator doesn't know how much money leasing space to Con Edison would generate, but the revenue would be shared between Wheelabrator and the town.

Wheelabrator representatives updated Shrewsbury officials Wednesday on landscaping at the site, especially where the landfill mounds are visible from the Hartford Turnpike. The company has planted 8,000 saplings to help screen the landfill from view.

"In five to 10 years, if you're coming down Route 20, it'll look a lot more natural," said Musial.

The company will be landscaping its entrance to screen from view the 60 to 80 trucks that deliver ash to the landfill daily.

For more than 25 years, the site has taken ash from Millbury's waste-to-energy incinerator.

According to Wheelabrator's website, the Shrewsbury landfill is three million cubic yards spread over 270 acres of land that the town owns. The site contains four, 10-acre ash disposal cells, while the rest of the site consists of buffers, roadways, and support facilities.

Shrewsbury officials recently signed onto to new, 20-year agreement with the company.

Musial said he expected the site's three-year expansion project to be completed by the spring.

Town officials said that, overall, they have a healthy relationship with Wheelabrator. However, the company was fined $7.5 million in 2011 for releasing hazardous materials in three of its facilities, including the Shrewsbury landfill.

Company officials said they are abiding by "Morgado's Rule," coined by Shrewsbury Town Manager Daniel Morgado: "No stink, no vermin."

"I think you're doing fine," Morgado told them.

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