The victim, an employee of the Wastebeater Recycling company was delivering the collected waste to the North Foreshore site on Dargan Road when he left his vehicle. However, he began to sink in the rubbish which is said to have been soggy due to recent rain and staff tried to drag him out with their hands.
Police and rescue workers were called to the scene which is close to the shores of Belfast Lough. But the man, who has not yet been named, had become trapped under the rubble and despite the best efforts of the emergency services died at the scene.
Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said: Tremendous efforts were made by council employees to save him and the emergency services also arrived, but sadly he died.
My thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family circle. This is an absolutely terrible tragedy.
The Health and Safety Executive are now investigating the site which is said to have been in a treacherous condition due to heavy rain while Rodgers said it was the first such tragedy he can recall at the Dargan Road landfill.