Government agency Innovate UK has opened up a competition for companies to develop remediation treatments for illegal waste sites.
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £350,000 to find ways of reducing the negative impact of such sites on the environment.
The competition, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA), is part of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) remediation strategy for the Mobuoy Road illegal waste site.
Innovate UK said it was now looking to fund projects that provide proof of concept and prototypes of innovative technologies and processes.
Solutions must be appropriate for use at the Mobuoy Road site as well as other illegal waste sites in Northern Ireland. There may also be commercial opportunities to apply relevant technologies to regulated landfill sites.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative competition run in partnership with Innovate UK.
The Mobuoy Road site comprises two areas east of Derry occupying a combined area of about 46 hectares: the City Industrial Waste site and the Campsie Sands and Gravels site.
NIEA issued a closure notice on a council landfill on the former in 2008 and revoked a licence on a MRF run on the site in 2013. The latter site was subject to extensive sand and gravel extraction over the years.
DAERA minister Michelle McIlveen said: “The Mobuoy Road waste site presents a major environmental challenge which we need to address as a priority. The scale and complexity of the site will require an innovative approach.
“This research initiative competition provides an opportunity for companies to develop innovative environmental technologies and solutions and I look forward to learning of successes as the competition progresses.
“The development of innovative remediation treatments for Mobuoy and other illegal waste sites will contribute to finding a solution for reducing the negative environmental impact of such sites.”