Poolbeg incinerator to take full waste loads from next week

Dublin facility prepares for ‘first fire of waste’ 20 years after original proposal

Dublin’s Poolbeg incinerator developed by US waste firm Covanta will be fully operational by August. We take a look inside. Video: Bryan O'Brien / Drone footage courtesy Covanta / Shannon Images


Dublin’s Poolbeg incinerator will start full waste-burning operations from next week, 20 years after the facility was first proposed.

From Friday the facility will begin accepting regular loads of household waste with a view to having its “first fire of waste” by the middle of next week.

Earlier this month, plumes from the incinerator’s chimney stacks were visible across the city. However a spokesman for its operator, US firm Covanta, said these were “steam blows”, to clean the pipes as part of the commissioning process.

Small quantities of waste have already been taken into the plant to test the weighbridge and cranes, but full loads will start arriving on site from Friday.

“The plant needs to have a large volume of waste material in order that the furnaces can function at full capacity, so it is likely to be mid next week when it will begin full operations,” the spokesman said.

The incinerator will burn about 1,800 tonnes of waste, deposited by 120 trucks, a day once full operating capacity has been reached.

The plant was first proposed 1997, but did not secure planning permission until 2007. An Bord Pleanála received about 2,500 objections to the application for permission, including one from then Green Party minister for the environment John Gormley. Construction of the plant began in 2014 and took less than three years to complete.