Super incinerator to be situated in city

A MASSIVE new incinerator that will dispose of at least 120k tonnes of household rubbish generated by households from Moyle to Strabane every year will be located in Maydown.

The North West Region Waste Management Group (NWRWMG) has recommended a preferred bidder to deliver the half billion-plus pound project, one of Northern Ireland’s largest procurement deals.

Brickkiln, Sisk and Shanks will deliver the £500m project from next year. NWRWMG says the move brings 21st century waste facilities for the North West a step closer.

Brickkiln is a Londonderry-based firm specialising in waste management and civil engineering; Sisk is an international construction company while Shanks is an international waste management business.

The consortium has already secured planning permission to develop an Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility and gasification plant at Brickkiln’s Enviropark at Electra Road, Maydown.

Last month the Sentinel reported how the financial and legal aspects of the incinerator are expected to be signed off by next March allowing the construction phase to finally get underway.

The incinerator will dispose of the weight equivalent of the total annual EU beef exports to the US.

Not everyone is happy about the proposed location of the new plant, however.

The Enagh Youth Forum angrily protested the location of the “gasification incinerator” which it correctly pointed out will means “waste from Ballymoney to Derry” that would otherwise have been landfilled being brought to Maydown and incinerated.

But NWRWMG’s Vice Chairman, Michael Coyle, said: “By 2020 the NWRWMG must ensure that less than 35 per cent of bio-degradable municipal waste goes to landfill. Failure to do so could lead to EU infraction fines which will ultimately have to be met by ratepayers.

“The solution recommended today will enable local Councils to meet those targets and treat non-recyclable waste in a more environmentally friendly manner. The new facilities will complement our focus on the ‘3Rs’ of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and help us reach a recycling target of 60 per cent.

“It is no longer an option to keep sending so much of our rubbish to landfill. Apart from the harmful greenhouse gases which it creates, it is a waste of a renewable energy source.

“MBT will boost recycling rates by 6 per cent while gasification will help Northern Ireland reach its renewable energy targets and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

“This is an important stage in the decision-making process, but it is not the final decision. Over the next few weeks local Councils will have the opportunity to assess and review the recommendation.

“If all parties are satisfied we can move towards officially awarding the contract in early 2013.”

If NWRWMG’s constituent councils accept the recommendation of the NWRWMG Joint Committee, construction work is likely to begin in the next 12-15 months with the facilities becoming operational in 2015.