The existing plant has served north London well for almost 45 years, and has diverted more than 21 million tonnes of the waste which would have otherwise gone to landfill. It’s had multi-million pound investments over the decades but it is likely to reach the end of its useful life in around 10 years.
Waste forecast for the future show that the amount of waste we create will increase in north London. We also need to divert as much waste as possible away from landfill. The proposed facility would need to manage up to 700,000 tonnes a year at a peak by 2051, even if we reach our 50% household waste recycling target. We expect to send virtually no waste to landfill.
Read about our Key Points for Energy Recovery.
Why can't we just send waste to landfill?
Landfill isn't a long-term option because:
- it produces methane which is a potent greenhouse gas
- landfill sites are almost all outside London
- taxation makes it very expensive
We propose to build:
- an Energy from Waste plant - this will replace the existing Energy from Waste plant
- a Resource Recovery Facility - this is where bulky waste will be separated for recycling. Anything left over is used as fuel in the Energy Recovery Facility. The RRF will also include a reuse and recycling centre for the public from 2021
- EcoPark House - a visitors' centre where everyone can find out more about recycling, waste, heat and power.
What the site could look like
The North London Heat and Power Project would be made up of three elements – the Energy Recovery Facility, the Resource Recovery Facility, including a Reuse and Recycling Centre and EcoPark House. This design:
- provides space for landscaping EcoPark
- ensures the existing plant can operate up until the replacement facility is operational
- provides space for a visitors' centre in EcoPark House near the River Lee Navigation
- delivers the facilities required to manage north London's waste
- creates new site access points
Find out more and watch our video to see how the buildings will look
We recognise the importance of identifying possible benefits and effects of the proposed development and its ongoing operations on the surrounding environment at the Edmonton EcoPark. Therefore, we will reduce its impact on the environment and wherever possible to make improvements.
Landscaping the EcoPark
We believe our designs connect landscapes and integrate the EcoPark with the Lee Valley Regional Park. We are proposing green and brown roofs on parts of the replacement facility. The design for the EcoPark will also enhance the experience of walking along the tow path of the River Lee Navigation. The designs also reflect the industrial Eley Estate to the west.
There are more than 40 facilities across the UK turning waste to energy in a similar way to the proposed Energy Recovery Facility at the Edmonton EcoPark. We will comply with stringent emission standards or the Environment Agency would simply shut the facility down. Over the past 40 years, the existing plant at the EcoPark has benefited from multi-million pound investments to ensure it not only meets but exceeds regulatory standards.
Energy is recovered from waste by burning it to heat water, create steam and spin a turbine to generate electricity. As part of this process, a cooling system is required to condense exhaust steam from the turbine back into water. The water is then pumped back to the boiler so it can be reused in the energy recovery process. During both phases of the consultation we considered two cooling system options; a water cooling system and an air cooling system. We have chosen an air cooling system.
Traffic during construction and demolition
We have produced details of how we will manage the traffic during the construction and demolition phase of the project including widening the access point of Advent Way, creating a northern entrance from Meridian Way and creating a laydown area on the eastern side of the River Lee Navigation. Traffic along Lee Park Way would be limited to small/light vehicles.
Traffic during operation
We do not envisage a significant change in traffic when our proposed facility is operational. Although we will manage more waste at the site, in total fewer waste management processes would take place at the EcoPark compared to today. We plan to create a public entrance to the Resource and Recovery Facility once operational to the east of the EcoPark adjacent to the North Circular (A406). This means the public and businesses will be able to recycle their unwanted items at the EcoPark for the first time in 2021. We may continue to use the northern entrance for some operational traffic.