Waste incinerator plans unveiled
New proposals for one of the largest incinerator and waste site schemes in Northern Ireland have been launched.
The project at Hightown Quarry, north of Belfast, would produce enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes and create more than 300 jobs, the company behind the development said.
It could also maximise the amount of rubbish recycled and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The plant would burn black bin waste from councils in the east of Northern Ireland, which normally goes to landfill. A public consultation has been launched but it could take four years to build the plants after securing planning and other permissions.
Ian Smith, project director at the Beacon Consortium behind the proposed development, said: "This is a very exciting project which will see Northern Ireland catch up with the rest of Europe in ensuring we view waste as a valuable resource.
"Not only will it address the European imperative to divert our waste from landfill, but this project will ensure we extract the maximum value from the remaining non-recyclable black bin waste to generate much-needed renewable and sustainable energy."
Previous plans to build an incinerator north of the city were defeated following concerns about the impact on nearby residents.
Arc 21, an umbrella group for 11 councils, aims to use the project to help meet European waste targets.
The Beacon Consortium would develop a mechanical biological treatment facility alongside an energy-from-waste plant in Hightown Quarry near Mallusk. It will sort recyclables and then treat the remaining waste to make it more combustible. Arc 21 said it could provide power for more than 30,000 homes, contributing to the region's renewable energy targets.
An economic assessment estimated the project would create or sustain 340 jobs and contribute £24 million to the economy. It will also create up to 455 construction jobs.