Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Council tax protest against new incinerator grows

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

Hero for Council tax protest against new incinerator grows
Council tax striker Janine Eagling (courtesy of Davey Montagnon)
By Victoria Munro 01 December 2021

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

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