North London eyes new energy recovery project to hit 50% recycling target

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has unveiled bold plans to develop a new £500m energy recovery facility that will generate electricity from non-recyclable waste to power local homes and businesses.

The North London Heat & Power Project, situated in the Edmonton EcoPark in Enfield, would replace an existing energy-from-waste plant which has served the area for more than 45 years but is coming to the end of its operational life.

NLWA today (18 May) begins the second phase of a public consultation on the project which, if approved, would help North London make strides towards its target of 50% of waste to be recycled by 2020.

“We want to prevent waste, we want you to recycle it and anything you can’t, we’re going to turn into fuel and use it to heat and power homes,” said NLWA chair Councillor Clyde Loakes. “We’re already doing it and this way we can continue to do it, which is good news for jobs, investment and sorting out north London’s waste problem.”

The North London Heat and Power Project would generate power for around 127,000 homes and provide heat for local homes and businesses; distributed locally through schemes such as Enfield Council’s planned Lee Valley Heat Network.

Setting the benchmark

The Project would also perform well on air quality; incorporating technology capable of achieving levels of 60% below the current permissible limits for nitrogen oxides. All emissions monitored will be the same as or even lower than the existing facility, making it one of the best performing in Europe.

Loakes added: “I urge everyone in north London to look at our proposals, view the videos on our website and take part in the consultation. We are going to set the benchmark with this project. It will be one of the best performing in Europe when it comes to air quality. Most important of all, in my opinion, we’re going to be able to heat people’s homes for many years to come.”

The NLWA proposals also include a visitors’ centre within a new building – EcoPark House – which will show the public how heat and power is generated from waste left over after recycling. A dedicated resource recovery facility would also feature, allowing bulky waste to be separated for recycling. It will also be a recycling centre for the public and businesses from 2021.

The second phase of public consultation on the project will run until 30 June 2015.

Luke Nicholls

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