Home / Skip Navigation LinksProjects / Water and Environment / Solid waste management / Climate survey of incineration plant, Dublin, Ireland

Climate survey of incineration plant, Dublin, Ireland

Photo: COWI
COWI is assessing the impact on the climate of Dublin’s planned incinerator.
COWI compares a range of waste management options and provides data for a public consultation on an incinerator planned for Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland.

A new incinerator will handle the main part of the waste previously landfilled: this decision was taken by the Dublin City Council in line with EU policy to reduce the volumes of organic waste landfilled in Europe. COWI has proposed two types of plant and assisted the authorities with data on, inter alia, the environmental impact and energy output of both types.

COWI’s assessments and experience are used by the politicians in their decision-making and in connection with an in-depth public consultation procedure on the planned incinerator. A group of residents has presented a strong argument to the consultation in favour of a biological waste treatment solution.

From waste to electricity
Waste from private households or business activities in Dublin could end up at either an incinerator or a mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plant whose bi-products include biogas. Initially, electricity will be produced from the waste, but the Dublin authorities' long-term plan is to make more efficient use of the energy by means of a communal district heating network.

COWI investigated the extent of CO2 reductions achieved by the two solutions; a key factor in the calculations being the composition of the waste and its contents of biogenic and fossil carbon and the extent to which the energy produced from waste could substitute the burning of coal, oil or natural gas.

Incineration best in the long run
COWI’s investigations identified several long-term advantages inherent in a bio-gasification
plant. However, over its expected lifetime of 30 years, an incineration plant is the better total solution. Moreover, the advantages of incineration are substantially increased if the plant is subsequently connected to a district heating network.

Planning permission for the Dublin incinerator has already been obtained on the basis of
the expertise and assessments provided by COWI. The consultation process is part of the
overall process leading up to a final decision on the plant.

In tandem with the process of establishing an incinerator, work is proceeding to extend a
system of separate collection of organic waste from households for composting.

LAST UPDATED: 02.02.2016