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Rahway Police Department
Thursday March 18th, 2021 :: 08:22 a.m. EDT


Covanta - incinerator cleaning today 7 am - 7pm - loud noises may be heard in the area- there is no cause for alarm. See Nixle email

Covanta - incinerator cleaning today 7 am - 7pm - loud noises may be heard in the area-There is no cause for alarm.


Boiler Cleaning at Covanta Union WTE Facility

The Covanta Union Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility, located at 1499 US-1 in Rahway, routinely conducts boiler deslagging as a necessary part of maintaining the facility. The deslagging process can be quite loud but don’t be alarmed! Deslagging is a safe procedure, which is essential for ensuring environmentally safe operations of the facility. Deslagging involves the use of explosives in a controlled environment by professionals, and may be heard in the surrounding area while the process is underway. It’s important to note that these sounds are part of an intentional, controlled maintenance process at the facility.


Covanta, the operator of the facility in Rahway, is a global leader in the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) industry. WTE converts nonrecyclable waste into electricity. The alternative to WTE is landfilling, which generates large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to climate change. The Covanta Union facility alone reduces 540 thousand tons of greenhouse gases annually, generating enough electricity for 27 thousand homes and recycling more than 16 thousand pounds of metals in the process. To learn more about Covanta Union, head to the facility webpage at

Purpose of Maintenance

Routine boiler deslagging, a form of boiler cleaning, is necessary for most any boiler using solid fuel. Over time, ash accumulates on the inside walls of the boiler in the form of what is known as ‘slag’. Slag is in this case removed to reduce emissions, reduce the chance of damage to the boiler, and to increase efficiency.

Explosives are used because they are the most efficient means of removing slag, which is otherwise extremely difficult to dislodge from the walls of the boiler in a safe and effective manner. After boiler deslagging is complete, the non-hazardous slag is collected and managed alongside the rest of the ash generated during the combustion phase of the WTE process. For those interested in learning more about the facility maintenance process, below is a link to an article published in Biomass Magazine:

Rahway Police Department
1 City Hall Plaza
Rahway, NJ 07065

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 732-827-2200

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