Fourteen local companies are taking part in an Invest Northern Ireland organised trade visit to WasteExpo 2003 in New Orleans, one of the world’s biggest environmental products and services exhibitions, from 3-5 June.In addition to attending the exhibition and conference, the companies will also be taking part in a series of ‘best practice’ site visits that will enable them to see the latest waste management and recycling techniques at first hand.

Included in the site visits are the Chevron Texaco Used Oil Recycling Plant; Nu-Earth Organics Inc, a commercial composting business; BFI Recycling Centre for processing paper and the Louisiana Corporate Recycling Council facility which restores computers for use in schools across the state. They will also visit the Green Project, a community-based operation that salvages and reuses building materials for neighbourhood regeneration activities.

Leading the trade visit is Debbie Boyd, an Invest NI Board member who is managing director of the Would-U-Like Group environmental consultancy in Portadown.

Mrs Boyd, commenting on the visit, said: “WasteExpo offers Northern Ireland companies a tremendous opportunity to make business contacts and to update their knowledge of trends in a global marketplace that is currently worth over £200 billion and is projected to double by 2010.

“Invest NI is keen to assist local companies through its trade and other business development initiatives to seize the huge opportunities that are developing rapidly as nations worldwide seek increasingly to conserve natural resources and preserve the environment. To sustain and grow business in an increasingly competitive marketplace, our companies must be prepared to compete in markets beyond Northern Ireland. Experience that they have gained from working within exacting EU environmental requirements can be deployed to help them achieve international success,” she added.

WasteExpo is sponsored by the US Environmental Industries Association and features almost 450 exhibitors from 70 countries. The exhibition focuses on three key sectors – waste collection and transfer; landfill management; and recycling, reprocessing and composting. Among the major exhibitors is the US Department of Commerce’s International Buyers’ Program which sources products and services from suppliers worldwide.

Another focus of the exhibition is medical waste disposal.

Northern Ireland companies visiting WastExpo in New Orleans from 3 – 5 June 2003

·AllClear Environmental Ltd, Newry, Waste management and recycling
·Allied Waste Ltd, Newtownabbey, Waste Management & Recycling
·Coyle Fabrications, Armagh, Steel Fabricators
·Currie Engineering Ltd, Garvagh, Precision Engineering & Machine Building
·Gradeall International Ltd, Dungannon, Manufacture balers, compactors, glass crushers, skips and containers.
·Irish Recycling Services, Bangor, Timber recycling
·Macwaste Ltd, Warrenpoint, Waste management
·Natural World, Keady, Green waste recycling Products Ltd
·Plastic Recycling Solutions, Londonderry, Recycling of packaging from IT industry, PVC window frames and consultancy
·LCC Energy, Cookstown, Energy from waste project
·Rocktec Europe Ltd, Newry, Suppliers of Waste Machinery
·Smyth Steel Ltd, Coleraine, Steel fabrication
·Would-U-Like Group, Portadown, Waste Management and environmental consultancy
·Leslie Wright & Son, Newtownards, Waste materials handling and recycling