Plans for a new incinerator at Edmonton got development consent from the government last week. The current incinerator will reach the end of it's useful life in 2025 and it's replacement is now apparently planned with even more capacity to take waste from other parts of London.
Paying for the capital costs of the new plant will put waste disposal costs in North London up considerably, and Hackney's share of the estimated £450-500 million cost will add £3-4 million per year to waste bills over 20 years. Is increasing capacity the right priority when waste volumes in North London have remained the same since 2008 despite an increasing population?
With recycling rates static at 25% and the target of 50% by 2020 looking increasingly unrealistic we need a new approach, and a greater emphasis on waste prevention, not just recycling. The North London Waste Prevention Exchange last week was a welcome start, with some friendly rivalry between London and Paris about who is going to lead on the Circular Economy. According to a report by the London Waste and Recycling Board the Circular Economy could be worth £7bn a year to London by 2036 but only 0.5% of waste budgets are currently invested in Waste Prevention.
An artists impression of the new facility
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