Friends of the Earth pour cold water on waste plant next to Olympic Park

Environment campaigners are rejecting plans for a possible incinerator plant being built by the Lea River next to the Olympic Park.

It follows the start of consultations by Tower Hamlets Council for a ‘waste to energy’ facility suggested at Old Ford to provide “a sustainable way” of dealing with the East End’s household waste, reducing reliance on land fill sites.

This would convert the waste into energy for new homes in Old Ford and neighbouring Hackney Wick and Olympic Park, the Town Hall points out.

But environmentalists are pouring cold water on the idea.

“We would have serious concerns if this facility is an incinerator,” said Kate Hand from Tower Hamlets Friends of the Earth.

“Incinerators can be inefficient, relying on recycled materials to keep them going, but can also tie local authorities into long contracts.”

The London Assembly’s Darren Johnson has long been calling for “more sophisticated” energy, rather than “outdated” incineration. He said: “Incinerators are an outdated, polluting technology—we don’t want more in London.”

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The council is looking at various options—including a possible incineration plant. It was studying whether an appropriate site could be identified, such as at Old Ford’s Fish Island, but public consultations were continuing.