Protest against incinerator prior to contract signing

Fresh protest planned in Edmonton as North London Waste Authority prepares to sign construction contract, reports James Cracknell

The new incinerator at Edmonton Eco Park has already been approved and preparation for its construction has begun
Plans for the new incinerator at Edmonton Eco Park

Campaigners opposing the construction of a new, larger incinerator in Edmonton will stage another protest this weekend, while again urging councillors to call for a ‘pause’ of the scheme.

Last month the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) board – comprised of councillors from the seven borough councils that burn their waste at Edmonton Eco Park – voted to appoint Spanish firm Acciona to build the new incinerator, with work due to start later this year.

The £1.2billion construction contract, which also includes new recycling facilities on the site in Advent Way, is set to be signed on Tuesday, 18th January. Before then, a protest march is set to take place on Sunday, 16th January, starting at Edmonton Green Station from 12pm.

In a joint open letter to Enfield councillors, Francis Sealey, chair of Enfield Climate Action Forum (EnCaf), and Rajith Perera, chair of Enfield and Haringey Cop26 Coalition Local Hub, wrote: “Instead of making a real difference to the health and the quality of life of the people who live near the incinerator, a real opportunity has been lost. Instead of bold vision and action, that changes the status quo for the better, the vote for incineration has incentivised the worst aspects and excesses of the current situation. An opportunity has been wasted.

“What was shocking and likely to be grounds for legal action, from the 16th December meeting, was that each constituent council failed to independently assess the NLWA proposals by considering alternatives.”

Last week campaigners urged residents to write to Enfield mayor Sabri Ozaydin, urging him to use his power to convene an extraordinary council meeting, however the council has confirmed that no such meeting has been scheduled.

Francis and Rajith continued in their letter: “Councillors still have an opportunity to right this wrong by calling for emergency council meetings to postpone the signing of the contract with Acciona, currently set for 18th January. Members of Haringey Council have already called for an emergency meeting on the 17th January. There is nothing to prevent other councils from holding these meetings online, if needs be, given Covid restrictions.

“The signing of the contract by NLWA will not end the campaign against the expansion of the Edmonton incinerator. Far from ending it, it will only serve to broaden and deepen the campaign as more and more people become aware of the injustice inflicted on them by NLWA.”

At December’s meeting, NLWA chair Clyde Loakes reiterated the authority’s commitment to building the new incinerator, which he said would ensure North London’s waste is not sent to landfill. He added: “The rest of the country did not want our waste being exported to them.”

Update 13/01:

An extraordinary council meeting to debate the new Edmonton incinerator has now been scheduled by Enfield mayor Sabri Ozaydin for Wednesday, 26th January, a week after the construction contract is due to be signed.