A demonstration is expected in Croydon against the building of a waste incinerator at Beddington Lane on Wednesday evening 24 April. Campaigners plan to congregate outside the Sutton Civic Centre where the council is making the final decision on whether to go ahead with the project.
Waste incineration is championed by the government as a cheap alternative to sending rubbish to landfill sites, as well as a way of producing fuel. There are already thirty waste incinerators in the United Kingdom and there are currently plans to build a hundred more around the country. Other European countries have operated waste incinerators successfully for many years.
Critics, however, point to the fact that countries like Norway and Sweden have found they have not had enough waste to burn and have been forced to import waste. UK household waste has fallen in past years, as recycling has increased, which has also led some to question the logic of the scheme.
The anti-incinerator campaigners point out that the Beddington Lane area already suffers from high levels of pollution. They fear this will increase, resulting in higher health risks to the local population.
The proposed construction at Beddington Lane is part of a broader project known as the ‘South London Waste Plan’. Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Merton councils intend to move away from landfill waste and follow central government policy to build incinerators.
The Stop the South London Incinerator campaign has been backed by the Green Party with a pledge of £2,000 for their fighting fund.