Haringey first council to call for Edmonton incinerator pause

Haringey leader Cllr Peray Ahmet says climate concerns must be considered

Haringey leader Cllr Peray Ahmet says climate concerns must be considered - Credit: Grimshaw Architects/Rachel Kiki

Haringey Council has called on the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) to review the rebuild of the Edmonton incinerator. 

Believed to be the first local authority to ask for the project to be paused, Haringey leader Cllr Peray Ahmet said its environmental impact needs greater scrutiny.

The move comes following pressure from campaigners and councillors to scrap the town hall’s support for the scheme. 

The NLWA is due to vote on the incinerator on December 16, when construction company Acciona is set to be awarded the contract for the works.  

In a letter to Martin Capstick, NLWA’s managing director, seen by the Ham&High, Cllr Ahmet said residents and councillors are worried about the air pollution from the new incinerator.

“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," Cllr Ahmet said.

“I am asking the North London Waste Authority to consider a pause and review of the project and, in particular, to consider whether more can be done to reduce its environmental impact.

Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter Enfield, Unite and local communities march to Edmonton Inci

Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter Enfield, Unite and local communities march to Edmonton Incinerator in protest at plans to build a new bigger incinerator - Credit: Andrea Domeniconi/Alamy Live New

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“For instance, we would like the carbon capture element of the facility to be installed from the very beginning and in a few years’ time, in order to reduce CO2 emissions."

Cllr Ahmet added it is "vital" that before procurement is confirmed the NLWA is "absolutely clear" the project is the best option, and that climate concerns are "fully taken into account".

Figures cited by Haringey Council’s opposition and environmental campaigners suggest the new incinerator could produce 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Cllr Scott Emery (Lib Dem, Muswell Hill), said he "cautiously welcomed" Cllr Ahmet's letter, but called it "only a first step" ahead of the NLWA meeting in December.

Dorothea Hackman, a climate activist and the chair of Camden Civic Society, said: "We can't knowingly build an incinerator that will make it even harder to maintain human life and biodiversity on the planet."

The NLWA said opponents have not provided a "workable alternative" for the area's rubbish. 

"As countries around the world sign up to Cop-26 methane reduction pledges, we simply can’t pause and review a project with major environmental benefits, and risk instead our residents’ rubbish being sent to landfill," a spokesperson said. "Our residents rightly expect better than this."

Protesters with a banner against the incinerator

Protesters with a banner against the incinerator - Credit: Polly Hancock

The incinerator rebuild, given permission by the government in 2017, is part of the estimated £1.2bn north London heat and power project.  

The NLWA is a public body which arranges waste disposal for Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

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