At noon on Sunday January 16, North London residents and members of over fifty campaign groups will gather in Edmonton Green for a family-friendly, socially distanced march to protest the signing of the building contract between the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and Spanish company ACCIONA is scheduled for January 18.
Protesters are asking councilors in the seven north London boroughs that send waste to the incinerator (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest) to take a break and review the rebuilding project and d expansion of the incinerator capacity, which is against Government policy to move towards a circular economy. The protesters want the NWLA to commission and release an independent assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts on the boroughs and hold emergency meetings to review and suspend signing of the contract.
Activists are determined to continue the work of the Stop the Edmonton Incinerator campaign. This includes informing residents of crucial information and fully participating in the May municipal elections. Legal action is also being considered.
The upcoming protest is part of the long-running Stop the Edmonton Incinerator campaign, which has brought together local North London residents in a fight that has included legal challenges, deputies to Council meetings, providing science to councilors , waste reduction and recycling proposals, letter campaigns, information events, a municipal tax strike and several public demonstrations including: the blocking of the Circular North in September 2021; a blockade of the current incinerator in December 2021 and the three-day ‘Doctors Against Cremation’ vigil and march by local doctor Edward Tranah (also in December 2021).
The main reasons for the campaign’s request to suspend signing and review the planned project are:
- The new incinerator will be built in a disadvantaged and diverse area, where people are already more exposed to air pollution. Building an ever larger incinerator than the existing one is a clear statement of the environmental racism and social injustice that the local community has suffered for years.
- The incinerator is also an environmental catastrophe; it is predicted to emit 700,000 tonnes of CO2 into our atmosphere each year – the largest source of carbon emissions in North London. This is unjustifiable in the midst of a climate emergency.
- North London has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country. There are huge opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle much more of our black bag waste instead of burning it. The huge amount of money that will be invested in the incinerator should be used to create a modern waste management system.
- The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has not informed residents of Edmonton and area about the rebuilding of the incinerator, rightly fearing that the opening and examination will allow locals to express resistance to the new incinerator.
- It was clear at the NLWA meeting on December 16 that the councils also did not independently assess the NLWA proposals considering alternatives. So far only Haringey Council has asked the NLWA to take a break and review plans for the incinerator. Meanwhile, there is an obvious conflict of interest within the NLWA itself. The chairman and two senior executives are also directors of the private company, London Energy Ltd, which is set to benefit from a new incinerator.
- The Mayor of London’s office estimates that London will have 250,000 tonnes of excess waste-to-energy incineration capacity in the near future. There is no need for an incinerator in Edmonton.
Even José Manuel Entrecanales, the CEO of Acciona, the company which intends to sign the contract for the construction of the incinerator this Tuesday, January 18, recognizes the “massive oversizing”. He also questioned the argument for more incineration capacity in London.
At the national level, the situation is just as grim. Alarmingly, without government intervention, 50 new incinerators will be in operation in the UK by 2030. This will double national incineration capacity and lock us in an additional 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The coalition of voices against this incinerator expansion already includes MPs from all parties, doctors, scientists, community groups and residents. Signing the contract will only strengthen the campaign against the incinerator as more people become aware of the injustice inflicted on them by their council and the NLWA. Instead of choosing environmental racism and climate catastrophe, activists are demanding their elected officials show vision and create a waste management system fit for a world plagued by public health crisis, environmental racism and climate change. climate emergency.
Picture by Stop the Edmonton Incinerator now.