Major investment in new technology for waste management firm Skipway

Skipway director Trevor Heatrick with Tracy O'Kane, technical innovation lead at CDE
Skipway director Trevor Heatrick with Tracy O'Kane, technical innovation lead at CDE

WASTE management and recycling firm Skipway has made a significant investment in a cutting-edge waste recycling plant, designed and engineered by wet processing experts CDE in Cookstown.

The new 50 tonnes per hour trommel fines plant has been commissioned at Skipway’s processing site in Dunmurry, one of three recycling facilities it operates (it also has Belfast and Portadown).

The plant is supporting Skipway to divert up to 95 per cent of its trommel fines from landfill and produce concrete spec sand and a variety of aggregates for use in the construction industry.

It will be the focus of an upcoming open day event on November 16/17, where CDE will welcome industry representatives to its Monkstown fabrication facility followed by a visit to Skipway’s Dunmurry site to see the trommel fines recycling plant in action.

Until now, Skipway has processed construction, demolition and commercial wastes through a dry processing plant and picking station to recover materials.

Trommel fines are a by-product generated during this recycling process. Their fibrous nature makes them difficult to separate and recycle, and so they have traditionally been sent to landfill.

Skipway director Trevor Heatrick said the firm’s new CDE solution transforms waste material into valuable resources for the construction industry.

He said: “By putting trommel fines through a wet processing plant the clean sand and aggregates recovered can be resold and reused in the secondary aggregates market. This minimises disposal costs, as well as closing the loop on challenging waste streams to create a more circular economy and generating additional revenue for our business.”

He believes Northern Ireland needs to adapt to new ways of handling and managing its waste.

“Landfill void space is finite and it’s running out, so we all need to play our part in ensuring it is utilised for materials that can’t be recycled and reused,” he said.

“What this partnership with CDE demonstrates is that the technology and expertise exists in the local market to process and turn waste into resource.”

CDE business development manager Fergal Campbell added: “We’re passionate about contributing to a circular economy and equipping our customers with the technology they need to play their part. Over our 30-year history, we have commissioned over 2,000 projects in over 100 countries.

”Our proven washing solutions are building a greener future around the world and while we are very proud of the global reach of our solutions, we are also proud to support companies like Skipway who are innovating and investing in a world-class facility in our local market.”

Landfilling is considered the least preferable option for managing waste in the waste hierarchy and the availability of landfill space continues to decline.

The nearby Mullaghglass landfill site in west Belfast is one of only six landfills in Northern Ireland permitted to accept domestic and commercial waste, but it will reach its void capacity and close by the end of this year, when a regeneration programme will commence.