South London Waste partnership and Viridor has responded to Extinction Rebellion’s demands following a joint protest over the weekend.
Activists from Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston were seen creating ‘crime scenes’, waving flags and dressed up as plume wardens as they marched to their action point in Beddington Park, on August 29.
The joint action aimed to highlight the “daily destruction and pollution” inflicted by the Beddington Incinerator.
With a call for the South London Waste Partnership to decommission the incinerator by 2030.
Extinction Rebellion claims that burning waste from the incinerator is causing- “daily ecological destruction, damaging health, and exacerbating the climate emergency.”
XR says that all four councils “remain committed” to burning rubbish at Beddington until 2042, despite calling climate emergencies last year.
The South London Waste Partnership which has a contract with Viridor runs the £205 million Energy Recovery Facility in Beddington Lane- which incinerates non-recyclable waste of one million residents.
Energy is generated from this, which is set to generate energy to heat the New Mill Quarter in Hackbridge.
The South London Waste Partnership says it chose the ‘best option’ to deal with non-recyclable waste – the other two would be to send waste to landfill or export it for disposal elsewhere.
A spokesperson for SLWP said: “We are aware that members from local Extinction Rebellion groups held an event on Saturday.
“The state-of-the-art facility has allowed the four boroughs to achieve a position of sending zero waste to landfill. This is an important step in the right direction and one that we know 96% of residents support.
“The four boroughs collect around 330,000 tonnes of waste from households each year.
“154,000 tonnes is sorted by residents and is recycled. But that still leaves the boroughs with an enormous challenge- what to do with the 177,000 tonnes collected from residents at the kerbside which has not been sorted and separated for recycling.
“Some of this ‘residual’ waste could be recycled and that’s where we need residents’ help; to ensure recyclable materials are placed in the correct bins so they don’t end up at the ERF.”
Waste company Viridor says there are no plans to close the Beddington ERF.
A spokesperson said: “ERFs represent the fourth step of the Waste Hierarchy – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. There are no plans to close Beddington ERF as the UK must ensure it has appropriately licensed and regulated facilities capable of managing all waste streams.
“Emissions are treated to meet required standards under the European Industrial Emissions Directive, which is enforced and monitored by the Environment Agency.
“Facilities require an Environmental Permit to operate. This requires compliance with the requirements of all necessary standards protecting health and the environment. Beddington ERF has not had any enforcement action taken against it.
“Residents are urged to play their part in supporting the UK circular economy by separating their recyclable and non-recyclable waste at home.”