Green mayoral candidate pledges opposition to South London Incinerator

11 December 2015

Green mayoral candidate pledges opposition to South London Incinerator

“Incineration harms both human health and the environment and the Mayor’s own policies acknowledge it’s the worst form of waste management”

Sian Berry, the Green candidate for Mayor of London, will today visit the site of the South London Incinerator and pledge to do whatever she can to halt the scheme if elected to City Hall.

She will be accompanied by Shasha Khan, the Green parliamentary candidate for Croydon North since 2010, and a prominent campaigner against the controversial £1 billion scheme.

In advance of her visit Sian Berry said:

 “As the Mayor’s own planning and waste policies acknowledge, incineration is the least desirable form of waste management. It produces toxic emissions and nano-particles that are harmful to human health as well as greenhouse gases that are terrible for the environment. It also acts as a disincentive to recycling, not least because giant plants like this one will need to import waste to fulfil its long-term contracts and make profits for its shareholders over 25 years.

“Next year’s mayoral race has been billed as the greenest election ever. My Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour rivals all come from parties who have backed this expensive, environmentally unfriendly scheme, either at City Hall or local council level. I hope they will take the opportunity to distance themselves from those bad decisions by their party colleagues.

 “If the facilities were provided London could reduce, re-use or recycle all its waste. That would save more energy than we could produce from burning it. It would also create more jobs without contributing to air pollution or degrading the natural environment. If we are serious about making London the greenest city in the world, we need to embrace these 21st century approaches not the toxic, last-century idea of incineration.”


For more information contact on 07740 411462


Notes to editors 

  1. As well as being the Green candidate for Mayor, Sian Berry is the party’s lead candidate for the Londonwide section of the London Assembly. A former principal speaker of the Green Party, she is currently a local councillor in the London Borough of Camden.
  2. The South London Incinerator is being built at Beddington Farmlands, two miles west of Croydon town centre – an area that had been set aside as a country park. One million people live within 10 miles of the site.
  3. It is being constructed at a cost of around £200 million by Viridor Waste (Thames) Ltd, which has a £1 billion contract to run the plant.
  4. The plan has been developed by the South London Waste Partnership, a joint initiative by Lib Dem-run Sutton council, Labour-run Croydon and Merton, and Conservative-run Kingston.
  5. Planning permission was given by Sutton Council in May 2013 but since the development is on what was previously a Metropolitan Open Land landfill site, the final decision rested with the Mayor of London. The Conservative incumbent Boris Johnson upheld the permission in August 2013.
  6. The facility will have the capacity to burn 300,000 tonnes of residual waste each year. To maximise its profits, Viridor has tied the councils into a long-term contract to burn more rubbish than is available locally.
  7. Construction has been delayed by a series of legal challenges but it finally began this summer and the plant is now scheduled to begin operation in 2018–19.


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