The incinerator would be a backward-looking facility

Friday, 14th January

• THE decision to go ahead with the new incinerator dismays me for three main reasons.

First, this decision was made on the very day an all-party parliamentary group on air pollution report called for a ban on all new incinerator construction in England.

The report argues that ultrafine particulates emerge from incinerator chimneys despite abatement technology.

Medico-toxicologist Vyvyan Howard provided evidence that although they are much more dangerous than the larger particulates, ultrafine particles are not effectively measured under current regulations.

In its rebuttal the NLWA cited findings from 2017, whereas Professor Howard was part of a group doing research on the toxicology of these ultrafine particulates in 2019 and research since then has continued to raise serious concerns about incinerator pollutants.

Secondly, there is a real danger this £750million plus project will become a “stranded asset”.

There are many new incinerators further on in construction for example a new plant in Bexley which can be reached from Edmonton by barge.

The Greater London Authority estimates that if all planned incinerators are built there will be overcapacity of 950,000 tonnes per annum.

And as recycling rates go up, as they should, there will be less material for incineration.

Thirdly, the incinerator will be the biggest source of carbon emissions in north London. The carbon capture and storage technology that needs to be in place is untried and uncosted.

“Pause and reflect” on the alternatives to building this very large, polluting, and backward-looking facility.


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