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Derry Hosts its First Zero Waste Conference

Zero Waste … It works and it’s happening now!

Zero Waste North West is proud to announce the first European-linked conference on ZeroWaste to provide us all with the answers we need to live in a cleaner Northern Ireland.

Photograph of Joan Marc Simon Director of Zero Waste Europe

Joan Marc Simon Director of Zero Waste Europe

The Director of Zero Waste Europe, Joan Marc Simon will be the keynote speaker at the ‘Countdown to Zero’ conference in the city on Monday 22nd June organised by Zero Waste North West.

This one day conference will bring together experts and practitioners driving Zero Waste practices in Europe as well as local innovators leading the way to a circular economy.

Judi Logue Chair of ZWNW said: “This conference will be of interest not just to specialists in waste management but to any organisation or individual that produces waste. 

“A Zero Waste strategy treats the things people discard as resources to be reallocated rather than as waste to be disposed of.  Adopting such an approach could set our region on the path to becoming a model of best practice. A Zero Waste approach provides many more business and job opportunities than an incineration based model and at the same time respects People and Planet.”

The conference will be opened by Minister of the Environment , Mark H Durkan who said:  “Zero Waste North West is to be commended in rising to the challenge. This conference brings together delegates with a wide range of experience and ideasto promote the circular economy and a zero waste society.”

The conference has been made possible by funding from Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, but places are limited. So it is essential that anyone who wants to attend should book a place.  For more information or to register for the conference visit:

Surplus Incinerator Capacity

Photograph of Viridor’s (so called Exeter Energy from Waste facility)  Waste Incinerator in Exeter, which began operations in July 2014

Viridor’s (so called Exeter Energy from Waste facility) Waste Incinerator in Exeter, which began operations in July 2014

Eunomia revises EfW surplus prediction

Waste consultancy Eunomia has brought forward its estimate as to when the UK will have too much available energy-from-waste treatment capacity, stating that the country is on course for a surplus by 2017/18.

The report factors in both existing EfW capacity and plants under development.

And, the consultancy claims that if development of EfW facilities continues at its current rate, a proposed 70% by 2030 EU recycling target will be impossible to meet, as the UK will limit itself to a maximum 66% recycling by that date.

The claim pitches Eunomia firmly against the belief held by the waste industry, with firms including Veolia and SITA UK all claiming that the UK is on course for a treatment shortfall within the next decade.

Eunomia has today (November 27) published the seventh edition of its Residual Waste Infrastructure Review, in which the consultancy predicts that once operational and planned developments and committed tonnages for export are factored in, treatment capacity will exceed the amount of waste available by as early as 2017/18. Previously it had claimed that this situation was only likely by 2018/19 (see story).
The report claims that currently there is around 9.9 million tonnes of operational residual waste treatment capacity in the UK, with a further 7.1 million tonnes in development, as well as 0.7 million tonnes of other capacity which has reached financial close and is due to start construction.


Based on modelling of changes in total waste arisings, Eunomia predicts that there will be a total of 83.9 million tonnes of waste, including recyclable material, available for treatment by 2030/31.
Should all of the planned waste treatment capacity come online, the report concludes, this would leave the UK with a maximum achievable recycling rate of 66%.

The full Eunomia report can be downloaded from their website.

Global Day of Action Against Incineration and for Zero Waste

Tuesday 14th October is Global day of action against waste incineration and for zero waste.  So it seems like a good day to acknowledge all those who signed ZWNW’s petition opposing the gasifying incinerator proposal at Campsie, which in March of this year was shelved.

It is important now to keep up the momentum to move the North West towards a zero waste response to the waste generation crisis and continue to do our bit to oppose incineration everywhere, mindful that there are two more incinerator proposals in the North.

We need to wean ourselves and our society off the attitude that not just throws away things, but if it’s not transformed will throw away the future of precious human life on this beautiful planet.

Burning waste pollutes people and the planet, spewing dioxins into the atmosphere.

It contributes towards climate change by producing greenhouse gasses.

Zero Waste creates jobs, saves money and protects the planet.

Judi Logue

Chair of  ZWNW

International Recycling Day 17th May 2014

Zero Waste North West launch International Recycling Day 17th May 2014

Derry Trades Union  Council May Day march 3rd May 2014

ZWNW on May Day march 2014

With plans for a multi million pound gasifiying incinerator off the table, Zero Waste North West feel it is time for everyone in this region to keep our eye on the Zero Waste goal.

With this in mind we invite you to join with us to celebrate International Recycling Day in an afternoon of celebration in the Guildhall Square on Saturday 17th May from 2-5pm.

International Recycling Day is celebrated every year on 17 May.  On this day, activities to encourage recycling efforts take place worldwide.  Each year the popularity of the day has been gaining strength, so that more countries are joining in to spread high quality information about everything related to recycling different types of waste during the day.

Recycling saves our natural resources, reduces pollution and creates jobs. It is an excellent way to reverse climate change day by day. This year on 17 May it is important that we continue our efforts to recycle all useful waste.  In this way, we will be decreasing petroleum and water consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption.  At the same time, by doing so, we will avoid tons of rubbish being generated.

International Recycling Day is a day designed to make all human beings become aware of how important it is that they treat waste appropriately so as not to contribute to climate change and to protect the environment.

With the local elections just around the corner it is important that our politicians honour the will of the residents of our city and commit to a zero waste strategy.

Last year thousands supported our campaign and signed our petition rejecting gasification as an option for dealing with our waste generation crisis. Now is the time to move forward towards a goal where waste is designed out of the system. So come along on Saturday and celebrate with us, as a community we can embrace the goal of zero waste together to ensure a healthy planet for the future for generations to come.


Public Meeting Brooke Park

Zero Waste North West meeting  for Rosemount residents - Brooke Park Bowling Club

Zero Waste North West meeting for Rosemount residents – Brooke Park Bowling Club

What do we think about plans to build a gasification-incinerator?

Wednesday 27th November 2013 7.30 pm-9.30pm
Brooke Park Bowling Club House,

Plans to build a gasification-incinerator in Strathfoyle area have stirred memories of Du Pont’s attempt to build a toxic waste incinerator in the city in the early 90s.

That attempt was defeated by a city-wide campaign against the threat to make this city a centre for burning waste in a process that produced toxic fumes and ash as by-products.

Is it time to consider such a public campaign again, given that everyone shares the air affected by emissions from gasification-incineration of waste?

What are the alternatives to gasification-incineration?

A panel of residents of this area, made up of Shiela Downey, Conor Kelly, Marian Farrell and Dave Duggan, will talk about their involvement in the successful early ’90s campaign to stop the building of a toxic waste incinerator and realistic alternatives to gasification-incineration.  The meeting will then focus on the concerns of local residents and further action we might take.

Everyone Welcome.

There is a flier for the Rosemount meeting available for anyone who would like to download it to print out for friends or neighbours.

News from EU Waste Reduction Week!

Wednesday Evening   – 27th Nov 2013

A Public meeting for Rosemount residents was held in the Bowling Club, Clubhouse,  Brooke Park. The room was full to capacity as Local writer Dave Duggan interviewed some “veterans” of the previous  campaigns against the incinerators in Derry in 1992 and 2002 and had a conversation with the audience about their memories of those previous campaigns.

We had an unexpected visit from the Minister for the Environment in the NI Assembly, Mark H Durkhan which added another dimension to the discussion.

Jim Keys presents to Mark H Durkan (Minister for the Environment)  A copy of Paul Connett's book: "The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a time"

Jim Keys presents to Mark H Durkan (Minister for the Environment) A copy of Paul Connett’s book: “The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a time”

Jim Keys thanked the Minister for having given a hearing to Zero Waste proposals at a recent meeting.  He also took the opportunity to present the minister with a copy of  Professor  Paul Connett’s book: “The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a time”.  Available from all good bookshops and Online


Friday Evening   – 22nd Nov 2013

At the Public meeting in St Columb’s Park House.  Prof Vyvian Howard spoke about the dangers of gasification-incineration and Mal Williams of Zero Waste Wales spoke about the sustainable alternatives to incineration.   These presentations were filmed and we hope to make them available here once they have been edited.

Thursday Evening

  1. The feature documentary  Trashed played was screened to adults audiences at the Brunswick Superbowl Cinema and the Letterkenny Cinema. Each showing had a lively discussion afterwards facilitated by members of Zero Waste North West.  Signatures were collected on the petition,  names added to mailing lists and leaflets distributed.
  2. At the Public meeting in Eglington.  Prof Vyvian Howard spoke about the dangers of gasification-incineration and Mal Williams of Zero Waste Wales spoke about the sustainable alternatives to incineration.

Thursday Morning  – 21s Nov 2013

The feature documentary  Trashed played to a packed house of young people form several secondary schools at the Brunswick Superbowl Cinema. It is being shown again at 7:00 pm at Brunswick Superbowl and at 8pm at Letterkenny Cinema.  Full details


Techno Peasant Sings it like it is

At the ZWNW fund-raising gig at Sandino’s Bar on Wednesday night Conor O’Kane,  aka Techno Peasant, sang his song about the proposed incinerator.  A new take on the old song Aragon Mill / Belfast Mill.   He performed it again on the Mark Patterson show on BBC Radio Foyle, on Thursday afternoon, where John Leighton joined him on piano.

Wednesday 20th Nov 2013

On Wednesday morning a consultation meeting  was held under the auspices of North West Community Network, involving  new people and groups in the campaign.

In the afternoon Mal Williams spoke to a group from the Strathfoyle who are hoping to pilot a Zero Waste approach in their area.

For a full list of the events is on our front page.



Open letter to the Environment Minister

An Open letter to Mark H Durkan,  Minister for the Environment

Thursday 7th November 2013

Zero Waste NW welcomes the recent withdrawal of the proposed Planning Bill for NI by Minister of the Environment Mark H Durkan because of planning and human rights concerns.

To give further time for consideration of the environmental and human rights issues around waste management, we ask the minister to postpone publication of the revised NI Waste Management Strategy ‘Delivering Resource Efficiency’.

People in the NW of Northern Ireland have twice in recent decades made clear their opposition to the incineration of waste. Instead they have been actively involved in separating and recycling and there are probably few places in the world where the citizens have occupied recycling depots which were threatened with closure! However, when the draft Waste Management Strategy ‘Delivering Resource Efficiency’ was open for consultation from 26 Oct 2012 to 18 Jan 2013, most people in the NW were unaware that waste was a major planning and human rights issue.

It was only in January 2013 that the DOE notified the public about planning permission for an Energy from Waste facility (gasification plant) in Strathfoyle, outside Derry and then, seriously concerned about the environmental and human health impact of such a facility, a group of citizens formed Zero Waste NW and started researching waste management models.

We now ask Minister Durkan to consider these points:

  • Energy from Waste as proposed in ‘Delivering Resource Efficiency’, is at the bottom of the Waste Framework Directive hierarchy (EU 2008).
  • Investing £500 million and signing a 25 year contract for the plant creates a market for waste and undermines targets for recycling and waste prevention which are at the top of the hierarchy.
  • NW Region Waste Management Group statistics indicate that the proposed Energy from Waste plant has a capacity greater than the waste produced in their seven council areas and they are proposing transporting waste in from other areas. This contravenes the Proximity Principle (‘treating or disposing of waste as close as possible to the point of generation to minimize the environmental impact’); increases carbon emissions from road (and possibly shipping) transport and presents the scenario of the NW becoming the dumping ground of NI.
  • £500 million to create 40 jobs is not cost effective. Zero Waste systems create at least ten times more jobs than current waste management systems.
  • Energy recovery from waste is not cost effective. ‘Incineration is an inefficient way to produce energy: energy recovery from waste incineration is lower than energy savings derived from waste recycling. For most of the materials that compose waste, recycling saves more energy than is generated by incinerating mixed solid waste in an incineration facility’ (Morris 1996 and 2008; EPA 2012 quoted in Incineration overcapacity and waste shipping in Europe:the end of the Proximity Principle?).

Zero Waste NW is seriously concerned about the environmental and human health impacts of the proposed energy from waste plant. A 2009 FOE (Friends of the Earth) report states that there are considerable uncertainties about these plants and that much of the data comes from the individual companies – ‘it is often unclear what emissions will be involved, and what sort of ash or other residue will be produced’.
Friends of the Earth (for further information see appendix)

In 2011 when the DOE made the decision to carry out a ‘recast plus’ of the 2006 Waste Management Strategy rather than a ‘fundamental review … along the lines of so-called zero waste strategies’, there was little public awareness of the issues involved. Now that we citizens are rapidly informing ourselves, we want to be involved in the decision making processes for designing community led separation and resource recovery systems.

Zero Waste NW asks Minister Durkan to meet with us and with experts already managing Zero Waste systems in Wales and Scotland. We are confident that Northern Ireland can work towards and achieve Zero Waste, thereby ending the burying and burning of resources, decreasing carbon emissions and creating sustainable jobs.

‘If you are not for zero waste, how much waste are you for?’  Zero Waste Alliance Europe


  1. Under EU legislation, energy from waste is classified as co-incineration and regulated in the same way as other types of incineration:
      • Co-incineration plant: any stationary or mobile plant whose main purpose is the generation of energy or production of material products and:
      • which uses wastes as a regular or additional fuel;
      • or in which waste is thermally treated for the purpose of disposal‘.
        Directive 2000/76/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2000 on the incineration of waste.
  2. The 2008 Report of the British Society for Ecological Medicine highlights ‘the very high release of dioxins that arise during start-up and shut-down of incinerators….Of equal concern is the likelihood that these dangerously high emissions will not be detected by present monitoring systems for dioxins’.
  3. The World Health Organisation factsheet ‘Dioxins and their effects on human health states –Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures ie. strict control of industrial processes to reduce formation of dioxins as much as possible.
  4. The Stockholm Convention for the elimination of dioxins (where possible) is incorporated into European Law. Its regulations require that ‘priority consideration’ should be given to processes which do not generate persistent organic pollutants including dioxins. HMSO, The Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations 2007 Statutory Instrument 2007 No 3106