Following the announcement of plans to build a £22 million self-funded ‘circular economy resource park’ in Newry this year, Re-Gen Waste has committed a further £20 million investment in the local manufacture of two, innovative new products.
Derived from local household waste, the advanced, absorbent paper product is currently undergoing R&D testing, in association with Queen’s University Belfast.
Both manufactured goods should be ready to bring to market in 2023 and will drive improvements in local Circular Product use.
This new tranche of investment is expected to create 250 local jobs, deliver £20 millions of value to the NI economy annually and provide a strong alternative to incineration and shipping recyclable materials overseas.
Managing Director Joseph Doherty said: “In the last ten years SMEs in the NI Waste Sector have been innovating and developing processes and plant, to move Northern Ireland towards a circular economy.
“This can’t happen overnight, but Northern Ireland is hitting its targets to become a zero-waste society. In 2019/20, Northern Ireland achieved a Household Waste Recycling and Composting Rate of 51.9%. This is a dramatic step forward in our recycling rate, which continues to grow.
“The volume of household waste landfilled has decreased by 352,837 tonnes, down from 561,173 tonnes in 2009/10 to 208,336 tonnes in 2019/20 and is continuing to fall rapidly year on year. According to DAERA’s Compositional Study 2017, 55% of the black bin (residual waste) is recyclable material, which we will also extract for use in manufacturing these new products.”
Mr Doherty added: “New policy and legislative measures such as Extended Producer Responsibility, Plastic Tax and a Deposit Return Scheme, will dramatically change the nature and volume of waste, post 2023.
“We are positioning our business to meet these new policies and are proud that the 23.1% increase in our recycling rate, has been achieved through private investment by SMEs in the waste sector, to extract and recover recyclable and compostable materials.
“We are pushing hard to innovate and develop manufacturing facilities that close the recycling loop, create jobs at home and boost the NI economy.”