Northern Ireland environment minister Edwin Poots opened Irelands biggest in-vessel composting facility situated on the edge of West Belfast.
The £6 million facility, operated by Natural World Products, will be capable of recycling 60,000 tonnes of household bio-waste, such as food and garden waste, into high quality compost. This will be used as top soil for some of Irelands leading golf courses, as well as being sold in garden centres as Rosey Lee Compost.
Mr Poots said: Meeting the current and future challenges of recycling waste in Northern Ireland is important not just for the local environment but also the economy.
That is why my department, through the Waste & Resources Action Programme, has made a significant investment in the capital costs of this innovative facility which will take Northern Irelands recycling capacity to a higher level.
WRAP, on behalf of the Department of the Environment, invested £1.5 million in the capital costs of the facility. The significant amount is the largest grant of its kind to be awarded in Northern Ireland.
NWP provides services to 26 councils across Northern Ireland and recycles 84 per cent of the waste annually 165,000 tonnes. Its director Caolan Woods said: [The plant] will position Northern Ireland favourably in meeting stringent recycling targets set by Europe. The public will now be more encouraged by the advanced recycling infrastructure and resources to play their part in creating an environmentally sustainable future.
As well as reducing waste to landfill, the plant will decrease the countrys CO2 emissions by 25,000 tonnes each year