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North London seeks "21st century solution" to manage waste

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has ruled out incineration and landfill to manage its future waste.

The authority has announced that it would prefer to use technology such as anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment (MBT), and composting to deal with its waste. The authoritys prime function is to arrange the disposal of waste collected by its seven constituent boroughs: Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

A NWLA spokeswoman said that the authority had looked at a range of different waste management options but ruled out incineration through an evaluation process that looked at which facilities would provide best value for money and be more sustainable. The authority said that technologies such as MBT scored more highly than incineration options.

reported (October 3) that the NWLA will be applying for a £3 billion waste private finance initiative deal and it claims it will be the second most valuable in western Europe after the £3.3bn Greater Manchester PFI scheme. The authority hopes to get financial help for investment in its waste facilities.

The new plans have been developed to ensure north London has the necessary facilities in place when its existing waste disposal contract with waste firm London Waste comes to an end in 2014. North London produces one million tonnes of waste per year and 24% of this is recycled and 40% is incinerated at the Edmonton incinerator operated by London Waste - the rest is landfilled.

NLWA councillor Clyde Loakes said: The NLWA is seeking a 21st century solution to managing waste in the area. As an authority we believe that prioritising waste prevention, re-use, recycling and recovery over current disposal methods will enable us to manage our waste in the most affordable and environmentally friendly way we can.

We hope that this approach will not only help us reduce north Londons carbon footprint but will also enable us to offer our residents the best possible solutions for managing waste into the future.

The proposals will form the basis of a business case which members of the NLWA will be asked to formally approve on October 29. If the plans go ahead and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs gives them the green light by January 2009 then construction of the new waste facilities will begin by 2010.

The proposed plans for north London include:

* Four new and refurbished household waste and recycling centres
* Two new materials recycling facilities
* Two mechanical biological treatment plants
* A combined heat and power plant that uses recovered fuel instead of fossil fuels
* A sustainable transport solution involving rail and/or water transport

Previous story, NLWA ready for £3bn PFI project, 29/09/08

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