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Topic: Environmental campaigners issue new challenges over incinerator project

Environmental campaigners issue new challenges over incinerator project
25 Aug 2021 23:02 #6155

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artists impression of new edmonton incinerator

Environmental groups based in north London and more widely are continuing their campaign against the planned new Edmonton Incinerator or "Energy-from-Waste" project. Recent letters sent to Enfield Council and to a Spanish firm bidding for the construction project have challenged the council to provide evidence that it is subjecting the project to adequate scrutiny and have asked the engineering firm to withdraw its bid in order to protect its reputation as a company committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the circular economy.

"Dear Ian Davis"

The Enfield letter, sent on behalf of ten groups based in the borough and more than 60 residents, was sent to the council's chief executive, Ian Davis.

The letter sets out "compelling evidence" that the incinerator project should not go ahead. It requests information about how Enfield Council is sourcing independent information and applying adequate scrutiny to the project and asks whether there are financial incentives in place that stand to benefit Enfield council if this project goes ahead.

The writers begin their list of reasons for opposition by accusing the North London Waste Authority of making false claims about the amount of greenhouse gases that the new plant will produce. They say that at 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year it will be 25 times greater than the Authority is claiming, and that its projected lifetime extends well past the legally imposed deadline for reaching net zero.

Other arguments set out in the letter concern:

  • The availability of several much less carbon-intensive technologies for providing heat and power
  • The Committee on Climate Change's finding that proliferation of incinerators in the UK is a "key challenge" in addressing climate change and not part of the climate solution (as claimed by the NLWA)
  • Updated estimates of the emissions profile of incineration versus landfill as a waste solution
  • Uncertainty about the realistic scope for carbon capture and storage
  • Identified incineration overcapacity in London
  • Value for money considerations
  • Public health considerations
  • The failure of the NLWA to meet recycling targets - recycling rates in the area have actually been falling.

Concluding their letter, the writers say they

"... hope you can give us confidence that you are doing everything in your power to guarantee the best outcome for both current and future Enfield residents. We are confident that some independent research will lead you to the same conclusions as us, that there is real merit for a pause and review of the incinerator expansion ."

"Dear José Manuel Entrecanales "

The second letter was sent to the chairman and CEO of the Spanish engineering company Acciona, which is the sole remaining firm bidding for the contract to build the new incinerator. It calls on Acciona to withdraw its bid.

The author is north London environmental campaigner Carina Millstone, writing on behalf of a large number of north London, national and international groups, who, she says, represent "the concerned public, political organisations, trade unions, environmental and social activists, doctors, political representatives, UK- and EU-based civil society organisations, and many others".

The letter refers to the Spanish company's public commitments to reducing  greenhouse gases by avoiding the use of virgin material and external fossil-based energy, prioritising resource reduction, and using renewable and recycled materials with a view to ‘giving new life to waste', saying that "these goals are vital to slowing climate and ecological system breakdown'.

According to the letter, the Edmonton project is at odds with these goals.

"The project undercuts ‘sustainable regeneration’, since EfW plants permanently destroy materials, releasing greenhouse gases and toxic emissions into the atmosphere, and perpetuating the extraction and use of virgin materials."

By withdrawing, the writer argues, Acciona would protect its reputation and send a signal that it is serious about its climate change ambitions.

Carina Millstone includes the same list of serious objections to the project as appears in the letter to Enfield Council. She concludes by asking Acciona to reply by 6th September stating whether or not it intends to proceed with the bid for the project

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Environmental campaigners issue new challenges over incinerator project
28 Aug 2021 15:31 #6156

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Local Democracy Reporter Simon Allin's report on the two letters is published in both the Enfield Dispatch and Enfield Independent. He includes a response from the North London Waste Authority which claims that delaying the incinerator project "would severely undermine our efforts to tackle the climate emergency":

“NLHPP is a vital asset for North London. It is providing new flagship facilities to support our aim to increase recycling and will perform an essential service by disposing of non-recyclable waste in a safe and clean way.

“Delaying NLHPP would severely undermine our efforts to tackle the climate emergency. It would deny North London residents state-of-the-art recycling facilities, while local homes and businesses would lose the opportunity to benefit from low-carbon heating and hot water from our new energy recovery facility.

“In addition, North London would lose the opportunity to provide hundreds of apprenticeships for young people and training placements for local residents.”


Enfield Council did not respond to a request to comment.

Read the full report on the Enfield Dispatch website .

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Environmental campaigners issue new challenges over incinerator project
01 Sep 2021 10:02 #6157

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Between landfill and incineration looks like a choice between the very bad and the even worse but just which is which is beyond me other than acknowledging EU governments (including our own) decided against the former on climate reasons and began taxing it heavily as a disincentive a few years since.
Stripping out organics from both has to make sense (green bins and brown bins) and I can understand the storing of plastics in landfill until (hopefully) future technologies devise a solution. But I wonder where this landfill will be? Not surprisingly, out-of-London regions are both running out of holes and also putting up their shutters to accepting more of London’s (our) waste. There are currently no landfill sites within London (Enfield) so that’s something which may be forced to change; that is unless there is huge effort to both reduce the volumes of start point waste (primarily our consumption) and also deal with what end of life waste remains in a circular manner. Less consumption suggests a smaller economy, while currently virgin material tends to be cheaper than recyclate; so an approach is suggested which looks both costlier (financially) and yet is funded from a relatively smaller economy. There’s some mighty big societal changes implied in all of this (let’s more generally call it climate change) which could make LTN introductions look like a mere friendly tickle to the status quo.

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Environmental campaigners issue new challenges over incinerator project
01 Sep 2021 22:27 #6163

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The specialist news website Let's Recycle carried a report about the Edmonton Energy from Waste (incinerator) project on 23rd April, with quotes from the letter sent by environmental campaigners to the Spanish contractor Acciona. A statement from the North London Waste Authority confidently forecasts that construction will go ahead and the new facility "will help tackle the climate emergency, provide long-term jobs and create lifechanging apprenticeships"

www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/nlwa-to-progress-procurement-for-edmonton-efw

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Environmental campaigners issue new challenges over incinerator project
Yesterday 01:44 #6178

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PRESS RELEASE 15 SEPTEMBER 2021

A group of local residents staged a die-in demonstration in front of the Enfield Civic Centre on Wednesday 15 September to highlight the fact that waste incinerators can have lethal effects on local people’s health as well as on the whole planet. If built, the new Edmonton incinerator will burn 700,000 tonnes of waste per year – a significant addition to local air pollution and carbon emissions.

The Campaign to Stop the Edmonton Incinerator is calling on the residents of Enfield to join the protest march starting at 1pm from Edmonton Green on Saturday 25 September. Supported by many North London community groups and organizations, the campaign is asking the North London Waste Authority to urgently pause and review its plans for the re-build.

The campaigners reject Enfield Council’s claim that it has no power to influence the NLWA’s plans. After all, this huge new incinerator will be in Enfield. The council could withdraw its support to the project until it is properly reviewed, given the many question marks regarding its usefulness and safety.

Enfield council needs to stop passing the buck and start acting responsibly. This means listening to the residents, the scientists and the medical researchers who say that burning rubbish is harmful. The residents expect their council to view the health of people and of future generations as its highest priority and act accordingly.

Enfield council has a great opportunity to encourage the introduction of modern methods and technologies to deal with our rubbish. By Reducing, Reusing, Repairing and Recycling discarded materials, waste incineration can rapidly be extinguished, and the sooner the better!

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