Location of Edmonton Incinerator in Greater London
|Official name||London EcoPark|
|Thermal power station|
|grid reference TQ357926|
Edmonton Incinerator (officially London EcoPark) is a municipal waste incinerator and waste-to-energy power station which burns London's waste to provide electricity for the National Grid. It is located on the River Lee Navigation and bordered by the North Circular Road, in Edmonton in the London Borough of Enfield.
The incinerator was commissioned (began operations) in 1971, by the Greater London Council. The building is of metal sheet clad construction with a 100 metres (330 ft) reinforced concrete chimney. It was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as being, "on the edge of the marshes, in a setting that enhances its impressive scale. Vast box-like forms clad in corrugated metal sheeting, pale grey and dark grey, approached by two big ramps on tapering piers. Huge cylindrical concrete chimney containing two flues". The incinerator is currently Britain's largest and it handles unrecycled waste from seven London Boroughs: Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Islington, Hackney, Haringey, and Waltham Forest. The waste is converted into electricity, bottom ash, air pollution control residue, and flue gases. 55 megawatts (MW) of electricity are generated, sufficient power to meet the needs of 24,000 households.
In early 2002, plans were rejected for a large expansion of the incinerator, which would have made it the largest household waste incinerator in Europe. Permissions had been granted by both the Environment Agency and Enfield Council, but on 23 May 2002, Energy Minister Brian Wilson refused the plans on the basis of the 2000 Waste Strategy.
Environmental impact and protests
The site has been the scene of a demonstration by Greenpeace, who are against all incinerators because of concerns that they emit "a cocktail of chemicals that can cause cancers and asthma attacks", and that incineration "undermines targets for waste reduction and recycling". In October 2000 they scaled and occupied the station's chimney, shutting its operations down for four days. The incinerator has also been campaigned against by Friends of the Earth and Londoners Against Incineration.
An Environment Agency report on the safety of incinerator ash was published in May 2002. It highlighted that up until 2000, ash from Edmonton had been used in the manufacture of construction blocks, which was hazardous because of the raised levels of dioxins in dust from the blocks. However, the practice ceased in August 2000.
In 2007, there were concerns that a rise in infant deaths in the area was caused by fumes from the incinerator.
The site is now known as the LondonWaste EcoPark and is run by LondonWaste. Trials are being carried out to use the River Lee Navigation in transporting materials to the incinerator. A large composting facility opened on the site in 2006, allowing green and kitchen waste from local homes to be converted into compost.
- Rethinking Rubbish in London, The Mayor’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy
- "Government blocks plan for Europe's biggest incinerator in London". Greenpeace. 23 May 2002. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Bridget Cherry (1998). The Buildings of England, London 4: North. p. 426. ISBN 0-14-071049-3.
- "Waste Strategy prompts rejection of extension to Edmonton efw plant". Letsrecycle.com. 23 May 2002. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- "Greenpeace volunteers invade London 'cancer factory'". Greenpeace. 9 October 2000. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
- "The safety of incinerator ash" (PDF). Friends of the Earth. November 2002. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- Bunn, Jonathan (2 August 2007). "Concerns over infant death rates in Chingford Green" (php). This is Local London. Retrieved 2 August 2007.
- Webster, Ben (11 May 2005). "Canals set to make inroads on routes clogged by lorries". The Times. London. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
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