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Arc21 gets green light to build MBT plant in Belfast but not EfW plant

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Source: Materials Recycling Week

Belfast City Council has backed proposals from an umbrella waste management group, for a mechanical biological treatment plant to be built at the council-owned north foreshore site in Belfast.

But the council voted against its land being made available for an energy-from-waste plant to be built there.

Arc21, an umbrella waste management group for 11 councils in eastern Northern Ireland said it was committed to the plan and would seek another site. It said the energy-from-waste plant could provide power equivalent to that used by 40,000 homes.

Councillors took the decision for arc21 to build a MBT facility after “receiving a presentation on the findings from a recent survey called Waste treatment in Belfast.” The results of this survey showed that almost nine out of ten respondents voted to release the land for an EfW facility and nearly eight out of ten voted for a MBT facility.

However, most respondents from the Shore Road area opposed the EfW facility, near where it would have been built.

Arc21 is working on a £1 billion project to deliver one EfW plant and up to two MBT facilities.

Arc21 policy and operations director Ricky Burnett said the group had been encouraged by the support for the project.

He said: “Arc 21 will continue to implement its waste management plan which aims to encourage people to reduce waste in the first place and boost recycling rates to at least 50 per cent. EfW and MBT however, are still required for that waste which it is not possible or practical to recycle.

“The decision by the city council enables us to move to the next stage in our procurement process. As planned, this will include a more definitive identification of the locations proposed for the new waste facilities later in the year.

“We anticipate awarding the contract by the beginning of 2011.”

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