Chingford News

Work on controversial incinerator rebuild begins

The plans were approved in December last year
By Victoria Munro

Enabling works are being carried out by Enfield company Galldris (credit: NLWA)
Enabling works are being carried out by Enfield company Galldris (credit: NLWA)

Construction work to rebuild and expand the incinerator near Chingford is now “fully underway” after plans were approved last December.

The highly controversial project at Edmonton EcoPark in Enfield has been fiercly opposed by environmental campaigners across north London, with some even refusing to pay their council tax in protest.

Campaigners say the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), chaired by Waltham Forest Council’s deputy leader Clyde Loakes, should focus instead on boosting recycling and claim the new incinerator’s capacity of 700,000 tonnes a year will greatly exceed demand.

They point to the increased CO2 the incinerator will release into the atmosphere, worsening the climate crisis, and argue it will also damage the health of neighbouring residents, a claim the NLWA denies.

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The NLWA has previously responded that the current incinerator, built in 1969 and the oldest of its kind in Europe, cannot last any longer and that it has “a duty… provide facilities to deal with [un-recycled] waste in the best possible way”.

Speaking as NLWA chair, Cllr Loakes said: “This major investment in north London will ensure that there is truly resilient and safe infrastructure to sustainably deal with the waste generated by two million residents in the long term.

“It means not shipping waste abroad or to landfill, where it will rot and generate methane.

“Instead, it means using waste to generate energy, which in turn boosts the UK’s security of energy supplies, that recent events have proved is so crucial for a nation’s economy.

“Building the Energy Recovery Facility is the most responsible way forward.”

Energy from burning rubbish at the incinerator will be used to provide electricity to 127,000 homes and heating to 50,000 across north London.

Recently, the government awarded Haringey Council – one of seven councils that take part in the NLWA – £27.8million to build a heat network for more than 10,000 homes, which will be powered by the incinerator.

However, campaign group Stop the Edmonton Incinerator Now has threatened a legal challenge against the decision to award funding, arguing the government should prioritise a “shift away from dirty power sources”.

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