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firing up

The controversial Poolbeg incinerator has taken its first delivery of waste

The facility will fire up this weekend.

Dublin Views The new incinerator and the iconic Poolbeg chimneys photographed from St Vincent's Hospital. Sam Boal Sam Boal

Updated at 1.40pm 

THE CONTROVERSIAL POOLBEG incinerator will fire up in the coming days – two decades after the project was first proposed.

Managing director of Covanta Ireland John Daly confirmed in an interview with Morning Ireland that the Dublin 4 plant was taking its first delivery of waste.

It would be what’s generally referred to as “black bag waste,” he said – waste that’s not going for recycling. The actual incineration process won’t start for a few days – probably at the weekend, he said.

Only one of the two boilers at the state-of-the-art plant is operational at the moment, he said. The facility would be operating at only a fraction of its full capacity, Daly explained. Full production will be reached by around September, it’s planned.

Photos taken at the plant today showed trucks delivering the first batches of rubbish to the facility.

pool1 Photos of the first delivery of waste were taken today. Conor McCabe Photography Ltd Conor McCabe Photography Ltd

Local opposition

The plant – which will process waste from the four Dublin local authorities – was initially proposed in 1997.

After years of hold-ups construction of the the Public Private Partnership (PPP) project finally began in late 2014.

Dublin City Councillors had voted against the project just weeks earlier – but Dublin City Chief Executive Owen Keegan insisted the facility was needed and made commercial sense.

Many locals in the nearby areas of Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount still have concerns about it, however – regarding emissions and traffic in particular.

pool2 John Daly, Managing Director of Covanta Energy Ireland Limited, at the plant today. Conor McCabe Photography Ltd Conor McCabe Photography Ltd

120 trucks per day will drive to and from the plant over a six day week, according to Covanta. Deliveries – even ones from the south – will be via the M50 and the Port Tunnel, the company insists, although waste from the immediate local area will be brought straight to the facility.

Strict limits have been set for emissions at the plant, and in an update on Poolbeg issued in recent weeks the Environmental Protection Agency said its inspectors had been visiting the site regularly in the last few months.

Covanta Ireland has said data on emissions and furnace temperature will be displayed on the company’s website and updated every half hour. / YouTube

‘Hot commissioning’ has been taking place at the plant in recent weeks – resulting in an occasional steam plume above the incinerator. The process involves the drying out of bricks in the boilers and cleaning out of the boiler pipes.

According to a statement on the Covanta website:

The hot commissioning of the plant is ongoing with the steam blows almost 80% completed. Over the coming days trucks will be seen delivering waste to the plant to enable commissioning of the weighbridge and bunker cranes.
It is expected that the first fire of waste will occur within seven working days of first waste acceptance. Dublin Waste to Energy will send out a further information bulletin closer to this time.

Read: Man snorkels headfirst into crocodile, escapes with only minor injuries >

Read: There’s some wintry weather on the way this week >

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