Officials Discuss Recycling Facility

Representatives from Green Seal Environmental of Sagamore Beach presented the Rochester Conservation Commission on Tuesday night with plans for the proposed 7-acre recycling facility along Cranberry Highway on 60 acres of land owned by Shawmut Associates LLC.

Green Seal’s Peter Flood said that the company will replace the existing 35,000-square-foot structure on the land with a 89,000-square-foot, state of the art facility complete with a massive solar array, new septic system, and revamped access roadway.

“This will be a significant upgrade and redevelopment,” he said, adding that the elimination of windblown litter, odor, and dust with a complete enclosure will mean a “net benefit for the environment.” The facility will adhere to the 100-foot buffer zone from surrounding wetlands.

Green Seal engineer Gary James said that the structure itself will bring with it increased impervious cover, but that the design will include multiple features to address runoff and storm water collection.

Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon and Commission member Kevin Cassidy questioned James on those measures, and the Commission ultimately told the developers to add enhanced erosion controls and storm water collection measures to the plans. In addition, the Commission will require a dewatering plan upon construction, in case builders come upon groundwater.

Farinon assured members that a “thorough review of wetland delineation was done in the field, and everything was seen to be in order.” But she also recommended that the Commission hire a peer-review consultant given the complexity of the project, and the Commission voted to hire Nover-Armstrong Associates Inc. of Carver, acknowledging that James had worked with the firm in the past but that there would be no “legal conflict.”

Covanta SEMASS representative engineer Dan Peters was on hand to comment that the company had concerns about the potential impact of odors from the proposed facility on residents of the Colby Drive area of Middleboro, but that “it sounds like Green Seal is taking pretty good environmental controls with a sound plan.”

The Commission voted unanimously to continue the proceedings until their scheduled May 7 meeting, by which point Green Seal’s revised plans will have navigated the Rochester Planning Board.

In other news, construction on the Alaskan steeppass fishway at the Hathaway Pond Dam is encountering more difficulties and delays, with Saturday, April 20, approved by the Conservation Committee as the latest – and reportedly last – extension.

Chair Rosemary Smith reminded residents of the Town Clean-Up taking place on Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s Club to celebrate Earth Day. For more information, contact Nancy Boutin (508-654-6621, or Wendy Keeler (508-763-9888,

By Shawn Badgley

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