Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Why I’m no longer paying my full council tax

Local resident Sarah Eastwood is making a monetary protest against the Edmonton Incinerator From this month, I am going to be withholding £10 of my council [...]

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The new energy-from-waste (EFW) incinerator in Edmonton will generate electricity as well as burn waste from seven London boroughs
By Waltham Forest Echo 01 September 2021

Local resident Sarah Eastwood is making a monetary protest against the Edmonton Incinerator

From this month, I am going to be withholding £10 of my council tax each month.

I’ve been a resident of Waltham Forest for over 20 years. I’m a parent and an active member of the community. I’ve always paid my taxes promptly and in full – but I am so horrified by plans to spend £680 million from council taxes (paid by residents of seven North London boroughs, including Waltham Forest) on building an enormous new incinerator to replace the current one in Edmonton, that I feel I have no choice but to take a stand.

Incineration produces incredibly high carbon emissions. The planned incinerator will produce an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – which would equal just over 10% of North London’s total emissions from 2018 – and leads to highly damaging air pollution.

There has been an ongoing local campaign against the new incinerator, which has presented huge amounts of evidence and personal testimony –but the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), who are responsible for the incinerator plans on behalf of Waltham Forest and six other boroughs, have refused to engage in any meaningful discussion.

They have not conducted modelling of local health impacts and have failed to update their plans in the light of falling waste levels (according to gov.uk statistics) and higher recycling targets. The new incinerator will have a lifespan of over 50 years, and will have far too high a capacity to be met by local waste – so instead waste will have to be brought in from other parts of the country to be burnt in our neighbourhood.

NLWA counter that the incinerator will produce renewable energy – but energy from incinerators is dirtier than natural gas. They claim there’ll be carbon and toxic particulates capture, but this technology is still at magical thinking stage. They claim there is no alternative, but they’re already massively failing against even the current recycling targets and failing to adopt proven ‘Reduce Reuse Recycle’ innovations.

At times, it can feel that as one voter or taxpayer, there is very little that we do to make an impact on these decisions. Though we’ve raised our concerns, we are not being heard. My difficult decision to strike will hopefully force a proper public debate about what is happening.

To discuss my plans, email NLincineratorCTS@protonmail.com

To find out more about plans for the incinerator, visit walthamforestecho.co.uk/tag/incinerator/