Co Down waste firm invests £5m in plant
A Co Down waste processing firm has invested £5m to develop its facility creating 50 jobs.
Re-Gen Waste said its processing facility will produce a "high spec" replacement for traditional fossil fuels for use in cement kilns and power stations when it is completed in early November.
Located at Carnbane Industrial Estate in Newry, the plant expansion has generated 20 construction jobs in the build phase and will create a further 30 permanent positions when up to full production.
Joseph Doherty, managing director of Re-Gen Waste, explained the project is an "incredibly important area of our work".
"Our 'throw-away' society is generating in excess of 27 million tonnes of mixed household waste per year in the UK," he said.
"All the materials that come into our lives will be one day discarded and there are ultimately two choices we can make: they can be treated as waste and end up in landfills or be treated as a resource and reprocessed to find a home in our economy."
Re-Gen provides mixed dry recycling and municipal solid waste collection and processing services for public authorities and private companies across the island of Ireland and the UK. It also recovers energy from unrecyclable household waste that is sent by many councils to landfills.
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Prepared waste in the form of solid recovered fuel is exported to waste to energy plants in Europe, where it is incinerated to generate electricity for home heating.
The company already exports 80,000 tonnes of solid recovered fuel annually, but will manufacture higher calorific value pellets and baled material for the cement and steel industries, which will be shipped to Europe through local ports.
Mr Doherty said: "We're helping local councils find a positive outcome to their landfill problem.
"We all generate waste and we all, especially recyclers, have to work out the right way of handling it, so that it does not end up in landfills or suffocating our rivers and oceans.
"Finding at least a second life for every type of waste material is what we are striving for."
According to the latest available accounts, Re-Gen Waste's turnover for 2018 was around £30m, up 10.6% from around £27m in 2017. Sales also rose by 12% from around £16.5m to £18.5m.
The firm also made a pre-tax profit of around £3.2m, which was down 17% from £3.8m in previous year.