During the Second World War, a large Army Salvage Depot operated in Doagh, Co. Antrim. The military took over use of the former Ballymena and Larne Railway Station in the town. It had lain unused since its closure in 1930.
In 1941, 60 members of the Pioneer Corps worked 8 hours a day sorting and processing a large range of scrap materials that could be reused or sold. Each military unit in Ulster had a Salvage Officer who oversaw the collection of rubbish materials for transport to one of the 6 Salvage Depots in Northern Ireland. In charge was Captain F.F.S. Passmore (Salvage Control Officer in Ulster).
Men are taught not to regard anything as useless; even cigarette packets are deposited in specially provided receptacles.
Belfast Telegraph, 4th July 1941.
On 24th March 1943, Lieutenant J.R. Bainbridge - War Office Photographer photographed soldiers of the Pioneer Corps at work at the Army Salvage Depot in Doagh, Co. Antrim.
During his visit to the Army Salvage Depot in March 1943, War Office photographer Lieutenant Bainbridge made some notes. He recorded that the military had raised around £15,000 from the processing and repurposing of scrap materials in the previous 6 months. This did not include other materials returned to the Ministry of Supply without payment.
Among the items processed at the Doagh site in a 6 month period were old paper maps, textile waste, 150 tons of glass bottles, 200 tons of used rubber tyres, 75 tons of hessian sacks, 2,000 tons of scrap metal including petrol cans, and 5-gallon oil drums.