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Minister discusses issue surrounding management of local hazardous waste during visit to facility

(left to right) DAERA Minister Edwin Poots; Ronan McQuillan, Director; Neil McCauley, Site Manager; Max Carnson, Senior Chemist; and Paul Brogan, Managing Director McQuillan Companies.

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots has visited McQuillan Environmental hazardous waste facility in Antrim to discuss the company’s role in supporting local industry in Northern Ireland, as well as plans for future developments in the local waste sector.

McQuillan Environmental operate a range of facilities, including hazardous waste management, an environmental analysis lab, commercial waste recycling and an inert landfill.  They provide important services to a range of local industries, including the growing Health and Life Sciences sector.  

At present, due to the economies of scale, the majority of hazardous waste treatment and disposal does not take place in Northern Ireland.  However, McQuillan Environmental does have ambitious plans to further increase the range of hazardous waste treatment services they can offer to local customers.

Commenting on his visit Minister Poots said, “I recognised that locally-based, family companies have long played a vital role in the waste sector in Northern Ireland and I commend innovative businesses like McQuillan Environmental who are continually seeking to improve the services they provide to our local industry.”

The Minister also discussed the role of the hazardous waste sector within the circular economy and current infrastructure needs, saying, “I recognise the importance of a low carbon circular economy for Northern Ireland in promoting a Green Growth agenda. I and DAERAofficials will continue to work closely with the Department for Economy on the circular economy and will provide appropriate input into innovative solutions.”

McQuillan Environmental are part of the civil engineering company, John McQuillan Contracts, a Northern Ireland based, family company who have been operating for over 100 years.  As part of a range of waste management services, they operate a highly technical hazardous waste facility based in Antrim which includes a Hazardous Waste Transfer Station, Chemical Treatment Facility and an Analytical Laboratory.  They also operate a Material Recycling Facility and Skip Business based at another site in Dundrod and an inert landfill site at Whitehill Quarry in Lisburn.

The five waste streams that constitute the largest fraction of hazardous waste are: oily wastes, clinical wastes, construction and demolition waste, waste lead acid (automotive) batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment.

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