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MassGIS Data: MassDEP Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal

January 2016

Please be advised: The information contained in this GIS layer is no longer current and the layer should be considered as obsolete. It was last updated by the MassDEP Bureau of Air and Waste (BAW) in 2016 and there are no formal plans or process in place to update it going forward. Questions regarding these data can be directed to the MassDEP BAW (Air.Quality@state.ma.us).

The Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal Datalayer was compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to track the locations of land disposal of solid waste.

Table of Contents


.Zip file includes 25 shapefiles, the DAT dbf table
and eleven ArcGIS 10.0 LYR files


New in 2016: Point features representing Recycling and Waste Conversion operations. Please see the Overview, Attributes and Spatial Views sections below for more details.

The Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal Datalayer was compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to track the locations of land disposal of solid waste. This statewide datalayer contains the majority of locations currently regulated under MassDEP's solid waste regulations (310 CMR 16.000 & 19.000).

Land Disposal refers to an operation established in accordance with a valid site assignment for the disposal of solid waste into or on land (Landfill), or a location for disposal of solid waste from one or more sources which is not established or maintained pursuant to a valid site assignment or permit (Dumping Ground).

Polygons in the datalayer include both landfills and dumping grounds. Data are stored in ArcSDE as two layers: SW_LD_POLY (polygons) and SW_LD_PT (point feature class, with one point for each polygon).

Please note, only a small fraction of the land disposal sites are active landfills. In addition, this datalayer does not contain all land disposal sites known to MassDEP. The MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup and EPA Superfund Program manage former land disposal sites which fall under their regulatory purview. Waste site and mining classifications in the MassGIS Land Use datalayer and Map Unit Symbols 652 and 652E in the SSURGO Certified Soils datalayer may represent land disposal sites not found in the Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal Datalayer.

Transfer/handling, combustion and composting activities were represented as associated features of land disposal polygons until 2011, when they were first offered as separate point layers.

Since then, regulatory changes initiated in 2012 have built capacity for organic waste diversion. Beginning in 2016 locations for these operations, exempt from site assignment and permits pursuant to 310 CMR 19.000, became available. To better understand diversion-related regulatory changes, helpful definitions can be found in Section 16.02 of the Solid Waste Site Assignment Regulations. The Anaerobic Digestion & Organics Diversion page on mass.gov/dep may also be of interest.


The MassDEP Diversion and Disposal of Solid Waste datalayer (formerly named "Land Disposal of Solid Waste") was originally digitized from USGS Quadrangle maps (1:25,000) filed as part of the siting (310 CMR 16.00) or operating permit (310 CMR 19.00) requirements for landfills. It has been updated as described below.


1994 and earlier: DEP regional office files were searched for locus maps and site plans which designated the location of solid waste facilities. In some cases the facility footprint  was located on the map; in other instances a generalized location (point or polygon) was noted. These were hand-drawn onto a master set of USGS topographic quadrangle maps from which the datalayer was digitized. In the absence of a landfill footprint, point locations were buffered to reflect permitted or reported acreage (when insufficient data was available, 29.9 acres was used). When possible, these buffered point locations were updated with polygons from MassGIS 1985 Land Use data.

1997-2008: Locus maps and site plans from regional and Boston office files were automated directly into Arc/Info while using scanned USGS quads &/or digital orthophotos as background images. Point locations were buffered as described above; several of these point locations were collected using global positioning system technology (GPS). Several polygons were copied from the Protected and Recreational Open Space and Land Use (2005) Datalayers.

2009 and beyond: GPS, parcel data, Pictometry (oblique view or "bird's eye" imagery), current/historical topographic maps and ortho imagery are being used to locate unmapped features and refine existing ones.


POLYGONS and POINTS - Feature attributes associated with both polygons and points include:

RO_ACCT LONG – 4/10 Site ID from Facility Master File (FMF) Database
SITE_NAME C – 45 / 45 Site Name from FMF Database
ADDRESS C – 38 / 38 Site Address from FMF Database
TOWN C – 21 / 21 MassGIS Municipality name
REGION T  – 6 / 6 MassDEP Region abbreviation (in views, not in attribute table)

MassDEP maintains operational status, location, operation type, capacity, and contacts in its Facility Master File (FMF) database. An extract of Solid Waste data from FMF is available on MassDEP's website: https://www.mass.gov/lists/massachusetts-landfills-transfer-stations-compost-sites-recycling-facilities, under the heading “Massachusetts Solid Waste Facilities Master List”. Facility information is linked to the GIS datalayer via the RO_ACCT. Selected land disposal polygon attributes shown below are included where appropriate, for ease of use.

POLYGONS - Additional attributes from SW Facility Master List

ACRES DOUBLE Acreage of polygon representing landfill/dumping ground
CAP_STATUS C – 10 / 10 LF: Capped, Excavated, Incomplete; DG: Complete, Incomplete
CATGRPGIS C – 20 / 20 Land Disposal – LF (landfill) or - DG (dumping ground)
LF_LINER C – 10 / 10 LF: Lined, Not lined, unknown; DG: N/A
STATUS C – 10 / 10 Active, Inactive, Closed
SW_ID C – 10 / 10 Solid Waste Facility ID (historical identifier may be NULL for some records)
TYPE_OPER C – 10 / 10 Contact Organization Type: District, Federal, Municipal, Private, State
TYPE_RSP C – 10 / 10 Responsible Party Org Type: District, Federal, Individual, Municipal, Private, State
WASTE_TYPE C – 10 / 10 Type of waste deposited: Ash, C&D Waste, MSW, Sludge, Tires, Woodwaste

Waste Types defined:

ASH Residual from combustion, includes MSW, oil, coal, & wood ash.
C&D WASTE Construction & Demolition Waste.
MSW Municipal Solid Waste
SLUDGE Residual from treatment of gasses or fluids, includes industrial & water treatment sludges.
TIRES Whole, cut, shredded, or chipped car or truck tires.
WOODWASTE Trees, brush, sawdust, chips, bark and shavings, excluding milled lumber

POINTS - The data structure for point features mimics that of the BWP Major Facilities Datalayer.

In addition to feature attributes associated with both points and polygons, point attributes include the identifiers FAC_ID and ROOT_ID which can be used to associate features with other point layers, including the BWP Major Facilities and Underground Storage Tanks datalayers. Handling Facility and site assignment exempt operations additionally include a “classification type code” summarizing permit categories and types of solid waste activities permitted at these locations.

CLASS_TYPE_CODEs for Handling Facilities requiring site assignment (BWP_PT_HF_WWCOOTH):

CMPOST Site Assigned Composting Facility
LGHNDL Large Handling facility
SMHNDL Small Handling facility

CLASS_TYPE_CODEs for site assignment exempt Recycling, Composting and Conversion “RCC” operations (BWP_PT_COMPOSTBWP_PT_OPX_RECY_CONV):

GPCMPT General Permit Composting
GPDGST General Permit Aerobic/Anaerobic Digesting
GPRECY General Permit Recycling
IPCNVR Individual Permit – Converting RCC
IPRECY Individual Permit – Recycling RCC

Spatial Views

Land Disposal Operations Using the polygon layer SW_LD_POLY and SW_LD_POLY_DAT table, 15 spatial views (selected sets of features) were created in ArcSDE. These views are distributed as separate shapefiles along with the full layers and tables in the download at the top of this page. The views are named as follows:





Solid Waste Operations other than Land Disposal

Using an in-house development point layer and MassDEP Facility Master File Regulated Objects table, seven spatial views (selected sets of features) were created in ArcSDE. These views are distributed as separate shapefiles in the download at the top of this page. The views are as follows:

BWP_PT_COMBUSTION  (active combustion facilities with resource recovery)
BWP_PT_COMBUSTION_HISTORIC  (inactive, historic incinerators)
BWP_PT_COMPOST  (site assignment exempt, general permit composting operations)
BWP_PT_HF_CD_PROC  (handling facilities: construction & demolition processors)
BWP_PT_HF_TRAN_SM  (handling facilities: small transfer stations < 50 tons/day)
BWP_PT_HF_TRANSFER  (handling facilities: large transfer stations, 50 tons/day or more/day)
BWP_PT_HF_WWCOOTH  (handling facilities: woodwaste, compost, other)
BWP_PT_OPX_RECY_CONV  (site assignment exempt recycling and waste conversion operations)

Location Documentation

Land Disposal location metadata are stored within the SW_LD_PT and SW_LD_POLY attribute tables. See DEP Standards for GIS Data for details. Polygon methods of data input are additionally coded as follows:

DIG-METHOD Description Number of Polygons
F Footprint digitized from USGS quadrangle or digital orthophoto 518
PAR Polygon(s) copied from MassGIS Property Tax Parcels Datalayer 55
P Point digitized from USGS quadrangle or digital orthophoto 35
UTM Point located by UTM coordinates 30
SOI NRCS SSURGO-Certified Soils polygon 13
LU Polygon copied from MassGIS Land Use Datalayer 6
GPS Perimeter or front gate points collected with GPS 3
GEO Surficial Geology artificial fill polygon 2
OS Polygon copied from MassGIS Protected and Recreational Open Space Datalayer


Please note: although the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention (BWP) has been reorganized as the Bureau of Air and Waste (BAW), the BWP prefix has been maintained in the naming convention of layers in our geodatabase.

The MassDEP-Bureau of Air and Waste is maintaining this datalayer.

In 2011 the datalayer was redesigned and feature level attribution increased. Land Disposal sites continued to be represented as polygons.  Solid Waste Operations other than Land Disposal were represented as points rather than associated features of a land disposal polygon. [Every transfer station and combustion facility is not necessarily within or adjacent to a landfill. Rather than creating polygons for features mapped as points in other layers, these “other than land disposal” activities were mapped as standalone features.] This structure persists in the 2013 and 2016 updates.

2011 modifications as follows:

  • Active and historical COMBUSTION facilities, TRANSFER and registered COMPOST sites represented as points
  • Active HANDLING/TRANSFER point views replace TRANSFER:
    1. BWP_PT_HF_CD_PROC (construction and demolition processors),
    2. BWP_PT_HF_TRAN_SM (small transfer stations),
    3. BWP_PT_HF_TRANSFER (large transfer stations),
    4. BWP_PT_HF_WWCOOTH (wood waste, compost and/or other waste handling operations)

2016 feature/attribute edits as follows:

  • 3  new polys
  • 53 polys redrawn
  • 1 polygon ID edit
  • 8  General Permit Composting Operations added (BWP_PT_COMPOST)
  • 44 Recycling, Digestion and Waste Conversion sites mapped (new layer: BWP_PT_OPX_RECY_CONV)