3rd July 2024

First-of-a-kind ash processing plant aims to promote Ireland’s circular economy

Encyclis and Beauparc have announced a partnership to build Ireland’s first processing plant for bottom ash from the waste-to-energy process. The plant, which is due to be completed in 2025, will support Ireland’s circular economy by processing residual materials for recycling and reuse rather than allowing them to be exported overseas.


Located at the Knockharley waste management complex on the outskirts of Dublin, the purpose-built plant will provide a long-term, localised solution for the processing of bottom ash from the Dublin Waste to Energy (DWTE) facility, which is operated by Encyclis.

Construction of the plant is now underway and will support around 150 jobs over the course of the building process. Once operational, the plant will employ 15 people, creating jobs and driving regeneration in the local economy.

The new plant will annually process about 120,000 tonnes of ash that remains after the combustion of residual waste at the DWTE facility in Poolbeg. This will enable the extraction of ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling and unlocks the potential to produce secondary aggregates for local construction, thereby reducing the reliance on the mining of virgin resources.

While aggregates derived from bottom ash are not currently approved for use in Ireland - as they are in the UK and a number of European countries, project partners Encyclis and Beauparc are hopeful that this restriction may be reviewed. Encyclis and Beauparc are currently discussing the relevant regulations with the Government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the aim of helping to maximise the utilisation of existing resources for the circular economy.

To cover the period during construction, Encyclis has established an interim agreement with Irish waste management company Panda, which is part of the Beauparc group, to manage the bottom ash from the DWTE facility.

Owen Michaelson, Chief Executive Officer of Encyclis, said: “We are immensely proud to be announcing this first-of-a-kind project in Ireland. We will be working closely with our partners to deliver a facility that helps prevent the export of resources that could be beneficially reused and recycled. To achieve a more circular economy, we must maximise the utilisation of existing resources and reduce our reliance on mining virgin resources. For both environmental and economic reasons, it's important that Ireland has the ability to manage, process and make best use of its own waste by recovering valuable resources from it. This new plant will make an important contribution to that goal, and we are pleased to be investing in infrastructure that drives progress on sustainability, as well as creating long-term jobs and opportunities in the local area.”

Brian McCabe, Chief Executive Officer of Beauparc said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Encyclis on this state-of-the-art new facility. Beauparc is, at its core, a circular economy business, as we extract resource value from materials that are discarded. This significant investment will not only allow us to generate much more value from the ash that is produced by the Dublin Waste to Energy facility, but also offers the potential to reuse waste material to create aggregates for use in the construction sector. As Ireland’s leading waste management company, Beauparc is committed to investing across its extensive portfolio of businesses to deliver better environmental outcomes and greater efficiencies.”

Kieran Mullins, Project Director of Dublin Waste to Energy said: “The development of an on-island solution to treat residual bottom ash is a welcome addition to Ireland’s waste management infrastructure.  We are delighted that there will be a more sustainable solution to the recovery and reuse of bottom ash, which will help Ireland reach its circular economy targets. In addition, it enhances Ireland’s ability to manage its own waste and not rely on other countries in Europe to do so for us.”