A nearly $7 million renovation project now complete at the Braintree Transfer Station includes a sound barrier, a revised truck pattern that also helps reduce noise, a re-located resident drop-off area and a state-of-the-art odor filtration system.
"This will trigger redevelopment along this corridor," Mayor Joseph Sullivan said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday with other local, state and federal officials and representatives from Covanta Energy, which operates the town-owned site on a long-term contract.
"At the end of the day, this is about sustainable waste management," Covanta President and CEO Anthony Orlando said. "This partnership is about the local benefits and jobs that we bring, but it's also about the environment."
Covanta broke ground on the project in March 2012. It follows a contract extension that Sullivan signed with Covanta in 2011 that allows the company to continue to accept up to 374,000 tons of waste at Ivory Street from Braintree, Weymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Waltham and parts of Boston.
Solid waste collected at the facility moves from Braintree to a plant in Rochester, where it is combusted to generate renewable electricity for about 75,000 homes.
Depending on a variety of factors, including how much waste is processed annually, Braintree will see over the length of the contract extension at least $10 million in savings to its waste budget.
Operating since 1988, the facility processes approximately one million tons of municipal solid waste and recovers nearly 50,000 tons of recyclable metals annually, according to a Covanta press release.
U.S. Rep Stephen Lynch, D-MA, said the renovations are the type of project that leadership in Washington, DC should focus on, rather than just taxes and spending cuts. They don't talk much about growth, adding jobs and increasing efficiency, he said.
"That's what this plan's about," Lynch said.