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arc21 Residual Waste Treatment

Managing Northern Ireland’s residual waste – arc21’s waste treatment project

Project Description

arc21 is an umbrella waste management group, established in 2003 and formally incorporated in 2004, which works on behalf of its six member councils to guide, support and assist them to meet their legal requirements and drive forward innovative waste management programmes including the development of infrastructure.

The group represents the six constituent councils of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Landfilling  waste left after citizens and business recycling efforts (residual waste) is to be banned in 2025 or 2030. The options at that point will be to either have the facilities to treat the waste locally or export it for treatment elsewhere. Landfilling of biodegradable waste results in emissions of methane gas, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. A lot of Northern Ireland’s residual waste is currently being exported.

Project Status

The planning application to develop waste treatment infrastructure at Hightown Quarry has been recommended for consent by three sets of planning professionals in NI statutory planning bodies. A planning application is in front of a fourth set of planners who will make a recommendation to the Minister of the Department for Infrastructure. The proposed facilities include the largest mechanical biological pre-treatment plant on the island of Ireland, a community resource in the form of a visitor and education centre and an energy from waste facility. The multiple statutory processes are being modulated to control risks. These processes included securing planning permission, obtaining an integrated pollution prevention control permit, securing a grid connection, completing the public procurement and acquiring necessary land.  When the public procurement is completed a business case will be approved and submitted for consideration through each of the six arc21 councils.

SIB Involvement

SIB is providing project direction and specialist support.


For further information contact:

John Green

E: john.green@sibni.org

ARC21 - Site