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Thursday 21 November 2019

Poolbeg incinerator takes first delivery of waste and will be 'fully operational' by September

CONTROVERSY: Residents had previously voted against Dublin’s Poolbeg incinerator being built. Photo: Mark Condren
CONTROVERSY: Residents had previously voted against Dublin’s Poolbeg incinerator being built. Photo: Mark Condren
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The Poolbeg incinerator will take its first delivery of waste today and is due to start burning rubbish at the weekend.

Covanta, the firm operating the incinerator, said the waste will be "black bag or residual waste which is not going for recycling or composting".

Currently Poolbeg has signed up contracts for 90 per cent of the plant’s capacity.

Managing director of Covanta's Irish division, John Daly confirmed that three quarters of the waste will come from the four local authority areas in Dublin.

They also have contracts with major commercial operations, such as Thorntons and Panda, who will be charged if they do not deliver the contracted amount.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Daly said: "In our first week we will take in only a fraction of capacity because we have two boilers and only one will be operating at the start. So we’re talking about 20 per cent of normal volume."

When asked about safety concerns over dioxin levels, Mr Daly said he doesn't anticipate "any problems" staying within the European norms.

"We have a very good track record in the United States on the dioxin situation. We have a 99.6% pass rate between the period 2010-2016 on all tests in the state.

"We don’t anticipate having any problem staying well within the European norms which we are obliged to do."

Mr Daly said that, at full capacity, 120 trucks a day will come to the plant, working out at nine trucks an hour over a 14-hour day.

"To put that in context, if you take the East Link toll bridge, that on a typical 12-hour day would have 9,500 trucks going each way so about 1pc of the total traffic coming across the East Link, that is what we would be taking in."

He said they expect the plant to be fully operational by September and that it has been fitted with the latest fire detection and prevention technology, including heat monitors.


Locals in the nearby areas of Ringsend and Sandymount have previously raised concerns about the plant due to potential problems with emissions and traffic.

Dublin city councillors voted against the project in 2014 but it was insisted that the facility was needed.

The Environmental Protection Agency said its inspectors had been visiting the site regularly in the last few months.

While Covanta Ireland has said data on emissions and furnace temperature will be displayed on the company’s website.

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