Bumper incinerator profits passed back to north London councils

The North London Waste Authority has waived a £4.7m fee it would have charged to local councils, including Waltham Forest, next month
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

The Edmonton Incinerator (credit: James Cracknell)
The Edmonton Incinerator (credit: James Cracknell)

Millions in bumper profits from the Edmonton Incinerator are set to be handed back to the seven north London councils who pay it to burn rubbish.

The incinerator, which burns rubbish from Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest to produce electricity, is run by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA).

This year, the NLWA was set to charge the councils a £57million levy to cover the costs of processing their waste but plans to waive November’s £4.7m charge thanks to the soaring cost of electricity.

The authority says its “windfall dividend” for the councils that own it is also thanks to “strong market demand” for recycling waste it collects, such as aluminium and plastic.

Waltham Forest deputy leader and NLWA chair Clyde Loakes said: “During this extreme cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation, we’ve decided to act now to return this money to the public by helping to ease the monetary pressures on their local councils and their services.

“Wholesale energy prices are expected to remain high over the winter, and if that is the case there will be further ‘windfall dividends’ to come.

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.

“This shows that the public ownership of utilities can bring direct benefits to communities, instead of just the shareholders of the big energy companies.”

Announcing the decision at Waltham Forest’s full council meeting last night, Cllr Loakes said £500,000 of the £841,000 his council will gain will go towards “small-scale energy saving measures and retrofitting households”.

Local community groups will be handed £240,000 to help with the cost-of-living crisis and £120,000 for “hyper-local cost-of-living support”.

The incinerator, built in 1971, burnt more than 500,000 tonnes of waste last year and produced electricity for the equivalent of 80,000 homes.

The levies the NLWA charges the seven councils are expected to rise in coming years due to the £1.2bn cost of building the Edmonton EcoPark, which includes a new incinerator and a large new waste processing facility.

The levy to London’s increasingly cash-strapped councils is expected to rise to £66m next year and reach £90m in 2025/26.

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is the second-largest waste disposal authority in the country by volume of waste and serves more than two million residents.

The authority is run by councillors from Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, and Waltham Forest.

The cost of the levy to each authority varies depending on the service it provides to each of those boroughs.

In November, Waltham Forest was due to pay £841,000, Barnet £974,000 and Hackney £601,000.

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