Chingford News

Council tax protest against new incinerator grows

Eleven people are now refusing to pay their full council tax over plans to rebuild the incinerator
By Victoria Munro

Council tax striker Janine Eagling (courtesy of Davey Montagnon)
Council tax striker Janine Eagling (courtesy of Davey Montagnon)

Even more residents are now refusing to pay their full council tax in protest at plans to rebuild the Edmonton Incinerator, making it one of the largest in Europe.

Ten people have so far joined Waltham Forest resident Sarah Eastwood, who explained in September she will withhold £10 each month to “force a proper public debate”.

Those taking a financial stand against the rebuild are mainly from Waltham Forest and Enfield, although they are joined by five residents from elsewhere in north London.

They are calling on the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) to pause the plans, which its chair Waltham Forest Council deputy leader Clyde Loakes previously insisted is “simply not an option”.

Sarah Eastwood, who kicked off the strike in September (courtesy of Davey Montagnon)

Explaining her decision, Waltham Forest resident Janine Eagling said: “Enough is enough. A new waste strategy is called for, where rubbish is considered to be a resource, not something to be thrown on a toxic bonfire. 

“I continue to pay council tax but I have deducted £10 a month to register my protest that building a new incinerator in a climate emergency is highly irresponsible.”

NLWA and campaigners agree that the Edmonton Incinerator, built in 1969, has reached the end of its natural life.

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

However, where the NLWA hopes to create a larger, modern facility, campaigners want “a more sustainable solution”, calling for a shift away from incineration entirely

Responding to previous criticisms, Cllr Loakes said: “We need to build a modern replacement facility now or risk residents’ waste being sent to landfill.

“We have looked at the alternatives countless times. The offer that we currently have on the table is the best solution going forward with what we know now.

“We are building what will be one of the most sophisticated energy from waste plants in the UK, if not Europe. We are following what very green and environmentally friendly European countries are doing.”

Activists marching against the rebuild plans in September (Extinction Rebellion)

Construction on the new incinerator is due to begin in the middle of next year and the rebuilt plant would release an estimated 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.

Sarah Eastwood, who kicked off the council tax protest, called the idea of energy from burning waste a “greenwash scam”, arguing it is “actually dirtier than some traditional fossil fuels”.

She said: “Carbon capture and toxin capture don’t work successfully on any incinerator in the world and aren’t even costed into this project. 

“Our councillors are falling for an industry scam, with our money and our future at stake.”

The NLWA are spending an estimated £960million rebuilding the incinerator, which is expected to operate until 2060.

The NLWA board is due to meet on 16th December to discuss the project.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or annually 

More Information about donations