The new incinerator proposal needs to be scrapped

Thursday, 2nd December 2021


The Edmonton incinerator

• THE North London Waste Authority will decide in mid-December whether to procure a new waste incinerator in Edmonton.

This would be considerably bigger than the current incinerator, would generate more carbon emissions and increase air pollution, would still result in a proportion of waste going to landfill, and would depend on burning a high and continuous stream of incoming waste to be economically viable, all until at least 2060.

A high percentage of the material to be burned there, though, could be recycled instead; while evidence shows recycling rates actually go down when a new incinerator opens, as the operators need so much to burn.

Since the Belvedere plant came online in Bexley in 2012 recycling rates have fallen each year among the London councils who use it, with three of them now among the six worst in England. Is this an example we want to follow?

Current thinking on waste reduction and the “circular economy” makes it ridiculous to tie north London into this outdated and hazardous dinosaur, for the next 40 years.

Its overcapacity will result in waste even having to be imported from other areas to make the finances stack up; while its air pollution will effectively “export” Islington’s waste management hazards to increase adverse health impacts and premature deaths in one of London’s most deprived areas.

Islington currently supports the plan, which was first developed back in 2013-2015, but the council’s awareness has moved on since then. And, in the light of its commitment to fighting the climate emergency, it now needs to change its mind and scrap the proposal.

Green Party council and Assembly Member Caroline Russell is therefore putting a motion to the next full council meeting, calling on Islington to insist the decision is paused and reviewed; and to work to prepare an alternative plan, in line with its commitments to waste reduction and net-zero carbon emissions.

I urge readers to contact their councillors, encouraging them to support her motion.

Islington Green Party

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