Liberal Democrat councillors in Haringey attended a march last weekend against the renewal of Edmonton Incinerator. Councillors Scott Emery (LD-Muswell Hill) and Justin Hinchcliffe (LD-Fortis Green) joined the march along with hundreds of protesters, arguing that the proposed £1 billion incinerator will be both a waste of taxpayers’ money and will contribute to worsened air quality.
Incinerators are far more polluting than even coal-fired power plants, for example releasing 2.5 times as much CO2 and three times as much nitrous oxides. Almost 10,000 premature deaths are linked to poor air quality in London each year.
The incinerator will have no carbon capture facilities. Liberal Democrats believe that the money being used to build the incinerator would be better spent on sorting facilities, or on improving the recycling rate. If current recycling targets are met, City Hall forecasts estimates the incinerator will contribute three-quarters (700,000 tonnes) of the 950,000 tonnes of surplus waste capacity for London by 2030.
The two councillors later attended the Haringey Big Walk & Cycle Ride, to raise awareness of the impact of air pollution from cars, and to call on Haringey Council to speed up the introduction of more, safer cycle lanes and walking routes in the borough.
Cllr Emery, Opposition Spokesperson for the Environment, said:
“Haringey declared a climate emergency over two years ago, but is still not following through on its commitments. The council should have used the pandemic as an opportunity to take stock, not push forward with half-baked plans to build an incinerator, which will dramatically worsen our air quality and burn taxpayers’ money along with our rubbish.”