Stop wasting our money on the incinerator

Friday, 14th January

Londonwaste_ecopark_new

The Edmonton incinerator

• ISLINGTON councillors must meet urgently and try to stop the expansion and redevelopment of the north London incinerator.

A contract is about to be signed between the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and the Spanish company Acciona to develop the new incinerator. It’s a colossal waste of money – up to 40 per cent or £300million more expensive than comparable incinerators.

The NLWA rated the Acciona bid at just 36 per cent; but the contract will go to Acciona, they are the only company bidding.

There were three bidders for the incinerator project originally but one withdrew for reasons that are not clear and the other made a deal with Acciona and is now supporting their bid.

I am particularly interested in the environmental costs of the planned incinerator expansion. That includes the environmental racism of creating pollution in Edmonton, the most deprived part of Enfield with a 30 per cent black population.

And millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas – the same amount every year as all the greenhouse gas from Islington borough, just to burn the waste of the residents in the NLWA area where the recycling rate is an abysmal 30 per cent.

What a pile of rubbish about rubbish we’ve been subjected to. Islington Council claims the incinerator is a “green solution”.

Yet Councillor Rowena Champion, who represents Islington on the NLWA, says she’d be “very pleased if this was the last generation of incineration”.

The NLWA says the greenhouse gas from burning “biogenic” waste doesn’t count. Yet Islington admits that food waste alone “accounts for more global greenhouse gas emissions than all commercial flights in the world”; in the old days when flying was common!

We’ve been told countless times that the new incinerator is necessary and the alternative is putting the waste in landfill or sending it overseas.

But Cllr Champion now says “there’s over-capacity, there’s plants in south London, there’s plants outside, that is true…”.

Islington councillors say it’s worth building an unnecessary incinerator in Edmonton because it will be in the public sector. Yet the NLWA is happy to pass our recycling to Biffa!

We’re told that the incinerator expansion fits with the plans of the official UK Climate Change Committee.

But that committee of expert advisers says we need a “step change” away from incineration and towards waste reduction and recycling.

The NLWA and the local councils are supposedly committed to achieve 50 per cent recycling by 2025.

Yet there’s been no improvement to recycling rates for years and Islington has no plans get anywhere to close to that.

Islington Council says it plans to phase out incineration. But it’s just agreed to an expansion in incineration that will operate until at least 2060.

Write or phone your councillors right now. Tell them to stop wasting our money and laying waste to our planet with this dreadful plan, and to stop talking rubbish!

BEN GRIFFITH
Avenell Road, N5

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