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Up and running: 'First fire' of waste at controversial Poolbeg incinerator

The facility has started burning waste – two decades after it was first proposed.

poolbeg incinorater 082_90510156 Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

THE CONTROVERSIAL POOLBEG incinerator has started burning waste – two decades after the project was first proposed.

The first delivery was taken into the Dublin Bay facility six weeks ago.

An initial statement at the time said the “first fire” was expected within seven days. However, burning did not start until last Thursday evening.

The following statement was placed on the incinerator website the following day.

Late on Thursday 1 June 2017, the Dublin Waste to Energy facility reached the important ‘first fire’ milestone, meaning that waste was treated for the first time.
At this time, waste is only being processed in Boiler #1, with Boiler #2 to follow shortly.
During this initial phase of operation the plant will start-up and shut-down on several occasions as system optimisation tests are carried out.
This is normal during the start-up of a plant of this nature.

The first delivery of waste was taken on Monday 24 April.

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 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. / YouTube

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. Environmental Protection Agency inspectors have been visiting the site regularly in the last few months.

According to Friday’s statement, the plant will continue to take waste for treatment “at a steady rate” in the coming weeks.

Over the coming months, waste volumes accepted will be increased as the facility reaches optimal performance and is synchronised to the electrical grid.
Full commercial operation is expected to be achieved in the autumn of 2017.

Read: ‘I suppose we’re f****** stuck with it’: The Poolbeg incinerator is starting production >

Read: Dublin City Council spent almost €200k a month on Poolbeg consultancy fees >

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