arc21 launches waste infrastructure information campaign

An information campaign has been launched by arc21 to explain what it says is the urgent need for councils to develop new waste infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 5:48 pm

The umbrella waste management group - made up of the six councils in the east of the province - is behind proposals for a residual waste treatment facility in the Boghill Road area of Newtownabbey

It is designed to deal with waste from a significant portion of the population and includes mechanical and biological treatment, energy from waste thermal treatment and incinerator bottom ash treatment facilities.

A spokesperson for arc21 said: “The new facilities, as proposed in arc21’s Waste Management Plan, are required to ensure that councils deliver their legal requirements and avert a potential waste crisis which would have significant negative economic, environmental and reputational consequences.”

A computer generated image of the proposed waste treatment facility in Newtownabbey.

Tim Walker, arc21’s acting chief executive, said: “arc21 has brought forward plans for Hightown Quarry to develop facilities which are the right size to handle the waste collected by our councils.

“In the period October – December 2020, 255,810 tonnes of waste was collected in Northern Ireland, an increase of 18 per cent since the lowest recorded volume of waste was collected in Northern Ireland in October – December 2012. Of these 255,810 tonnes of waste, 24,738 tonnes was collected in Antrim and Newtownabbey.

“Until society stops producing so much rubbish, we need to build new waste facilities like the rest of Europe. We need to take responsibility for our own waste and start using it to create jobs and energy at home.

“If we don’t provide a practical solution to deal with this rubbish we will end up consciously staggering into a waste crisis.”

Tim Walker.

After the collapse of the Assembly in 2017, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) announced in September 2017 that full planning permission had been granted for the waste disposal facility in Newtownabbey. However, the Court of Appeal subsequently ruled that Stormont officials did not have the legal authority to grant such permission.

Campaigners, led by community group NoARC21, which was established to oppose the plans, vowed to continue their opposition after revised documents were submitted to the department in 2019.

The new arc21 information campaign can be viewed online at


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