Protesters march in final attempt to prevent incinerator contract 

People march along Fore St in a protest against the Edmonton Incinerator on 16.01.22.

People marching along Fore Street in a protest against the Edmonton Incinerator - Credit: Polly Hancock

Opponents to the controversial Edmonton Incinerator redevelopment marched on Sunday (January 16) in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the plans going ahead. 

Residents and members from over fifty campaign groups gathered at Edmonton Green to protest against the forthcoming signing of the construction contract between the North London Waste Authority (NWLA) and Acciona on Tuesday (January 18). 

The authority is made up of representatives from seven north London boroughs: Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

Jane Leggett, a member of Extinction Rebellion Highgate and the Stop the Edmonton Incinerator campaign, said: “The march was a great success. It aimed to show the seven councils who make up the North London Waste Authority that there is growing opposition to the expansion of the Edmonton incinerator. And that there are much better alternatives.  

“More and more people are realising it is too big, too polluting and too expensive, and should never be located in Edmonton, one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK.” 

People march along Fore St in a protest against the Edmonton Incinerator on 16.01.22.

Protesters are concerned about the environmental impact of the redevelopment, with critics estimating it could result in the release of 700,000 tonnes of carbon emissions - Credit: Polly Hancock

The NLWA says the new development will provide enough energy to power around 127,000 homes, and that it will cut carbon emissions compared to the current plant, as well as diverting waste from landfill.

It has however been the subject of ongoing objections, with multiple protests and public figures such as Jeremy Corbyn speaking out against the project

Haringey council leader Cllr Peray Ahmet wrote to the NWLA last year, outlining concerns relating to its potential environmental impact. 

In the letter, Cllr Ahmet said: “Our community also wants to do more recycling and feels the size of the incinerator will mean that there is an incentive to produce more waste in order to feed the associated district energy network.” 

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North London’s current recycling rates are already low, with Camden’s recycling and compost rate in 2020-2021 only 28.6%, while Haringey’s was 31%.  

There are also concerns about the 700,000 tonnes of waste the proposed facility is expected to burn, which critics estimate could result in the release of 700,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. 

Haringey was the only one of the seven boroughs comprising the NLWA that voted against the proposals. 

And there have been concerns within Haringey itself as to the council's position on the matter, with the Lib Dems due to table a motion during an extraordinary council meeting on January 17 that aims to result in a unified stance on the incinerator.