The EfW and two mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plants are planned to be built by arc21, an umbrella waste management company representing 11 Northern Ireland councils including Belfast, at a cost of about £1bn.

Belfast council carried out a public consolation which showed almost nine out of 10 of all respondents (88%) wanted the energy from waste incinerator to be built on the city’s North Foreshore.

About three quarters (77%) of residents felt that the land should be made available for a mechanical biological treatment plant.

However, the councillors, on Monday this week, voted 26 to 19 against the EfW and instead voted 23 to 21 in favour of the mechanical biological centre.

Ricky Burnett, arc21’s policy and operations director, said: “As stated on many occasions in the past, we will continue to encourage people to produce less waste in the first place as well as strive for at least a 50% recycling rate.

“However, EfW is also an essential element of arc21’s waste management plan.

“The technology will make good use of material which can’t physically or practically be recycled by converting it into enough energy to supply the equivalent needs of 40,000 homes.

“The energy can also be used to support a number of commercial, industrial, sporting and civic projects and will help Northern Ireland meet is renewable energy targets.”

Luke Walsh

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