Incinerator cashback for North London councils

North London Waste Authority offering to waive November waste levies thanks to ‘windfall dividend’, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Edmonton incinerator
The current incinerator in Edmonton opened in 1971

Millions of pounds in bumper profits from the Edmonton incinerator are set to be handed back to the seven North London councils whose rubbish it burns.

The incinerator, which disposes waste from Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest boroughs and converts the energy generated into electricity, is run by North London Waste Authority (NLWA). This year NLWA was set to charge the borough councils £57million to cover the costs of processing their waste, but now plans to waive November’s £4.7m charge because of the soaring cost of electricity.

The authority says its “windfall dividend” for the councils that own it has been made possible thanks to “price rises in global energy supply markets” as well as “strong market demand” for the recycling waste it collects.

NLWA chair Clyde Loakes said: “During this extreme cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation, we’ve decided to act now to return this money to the public by helping to ease the monetary pressures on their local councils and their services.

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“Wholesale energy prices are expected to remain high over the winter, and if that is the case there will be further ‘windfall dividends’ to come.

“This shows that the public ownership of utilities can bring direct benefits to communities, instead of just the shareholders of the big energy companies.”

The incinerator, built in 1971, burned more than 500,000 tonnes of waste last year and produced electricity for the equivalent of 80,000 homes.

The levies the NLWA charges the seven councils are expected to rise in coming years because of the £1.2bn cost of the North London Heat and Power Project, which involves building a new incinerator plus new recycling and waste processing facilities at Edmonton Eco Park. The levy to London’s increasingly cash-strapped councils is expected to rise to £66m next year and reach £90m in 2025/26.

NLWA is the second-largest waste disposal authority in the country by volume of waste and serves more than two million residents.

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