CEWEP Ireland is the Irish branch of CEWEP Europe and has two members.
Indaver which operates the Meath Waste-to-Energy facility and is proposing to develop similar facilities in Belfast and Cork. Covanta operates the Dublin Waste-to-Energy facility.
Members currently have a total treatment capacity of over 835,000 tonnes per annum residual waste and export 80MW of electricity (the equivalent of 140,000 homes per annum).
Waste-to-Energy (WtE) facilities treat waste that cannot be prevented, reused or recycled. Black bin waste has little material value but its energy value can be recovered in WtE facilities. The process involves the combustion of residual waste to produce steam. This steam can be used to generate electricity for the national grid or produce heat which can be distributed to customers through a local heat network.
The facilities in operation in Ireland currently produce electricity. However, in a number of years, Dublin Waste-to-Energy will provide hot water for the Dublin District Heating System. The electricity is fed into the grid and distributed to homes and businesses.
WtE plays a role in the transition to a circular economy and in meeting EU climate & energy targets. WtE treats waste that cannot be reused or recycled. It reduces waste management greenhouse gas emissions by diverting waste away from landfill and recovering energy from it.
WtE and recycling are complementary waste treatment methods. Whenever possible, household waste should be sorted in the home with the clean materials sent for recycling and food waste separately collected to turn into biogas. The remaining waste that cannot be recycled should be used to generate energy.
WtE allows for the safe treatment of waste in a sanitary manner. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that “the incineration of waste is an hygienic method of reducing its volume and weight which also reduces its potential to pollute”.
Our members strictly adhere to EU legislation in relation to emission levels and measures to safeguard public health and the environment. The facilities are licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are subject to stringent environmental monitoring procedures.