The @TalkERF_SLondon twitter account controlled by Viridor was in overdrive yesterday to alleviate concerns from anxious residents who could see great plumes of dirty smoke from many points across Sutton, Croydon and Crystal Palace.
Many immediately thought the incinerator was ablaze until Viridor tweeted that a, “small fire was reported at its Beddington Lane transfer station” approximately 100 minutes after London Fire Brigade was called to the site.
The waste transfer station is “co-located” to the incinerator site. The incinerator is not operational and still in testing mode.
In another tweet Viridor stated the, “most likely” cause of the fire was “lithium batteries. ”
Contrary to Nick Mattey’s assertioon that October was the start date, former Chair of the South London Waste Partnership, Councillor Stuart Collins, tweeted this response to me:
Checked with SLWP, the Sutton Viridor incinerator is testing at the moment due to be fully operational December. By then Croydon’s new recycling system reducing landfill bins size , increasing recycling bins size should be reducing landfill & increasing recycling percentages
In May 2018, Councillor Nick Mattey, a prominent voice against the incinerator, was re-elected in the seat of Beddington North as an Independent. Additionally, two other anti-incinerator campaigners, Jillian Green and Tim Foster, also standing as Independents, also won through.
Recently Councillor Mattey has found out that the burner has completed its commissioning phase and will go live on October 18th.
Just received a call back from Environment agency. On the day of the smell, the incinerator was burning, and had an alkaline wash through which can produce that awful smell.
They want people to know that they are regulating the site and they need more people to phone them when there are issues like this so that they can make sure the site is performing within its designated limits.
They are now going to look into the issue and data from the site and pollution sensors in the area to get an indication of what went wrong. Spoke to a lovely lady who was very much on the side of residents.
For those asking
Environment incident hotline
Telephone (24 hour service)
0800 80 70 60
Date 9th January 2018
Another resident posted on Facebook:
Hackbridge stunk this morning of burning/burnt diesel this morning.
I noticed it between 7:50am and 8:30am.
At least to one campaigner, this moment, right now, feels a bit like the moment Neville Chamberlain had to accept that attempts to stop Hitler invading Poland had failed. Of course the two are incomparable but it is a sad moment when the unthinkable, then becomes inevitable and then a sobering reality. Apologies if the war analogy is too strong but imagine putting 10 years of your life into stopping something catastrophic in the eyes of many.
Fellow campaigner Peter Alfrey noticed the burners were fired up on the 5th of January.
Local news and reaction covering how this news came to light can be found here and here.
Viridor have sent newsletters out to local residents and have been tweeting from the Viridor ERF SLondon account. They advise that during the coming weeks components at the site will be tested and this may result in “audible noises” and “visible steam venting from the chimneys.” This is all necessary to ensure the incinerator is within the “strict emission limits.”
The commissioning stage of an incinerator, before it is fully operational, is broken up into ‘cold’ commissioning and ‘hot’ commissioning. The more dangerous period is the latter, when feedstock is sent for incineration for the first time. With all that combustible material near a burner, the risk of fire is greater.
I understand from UKWIN that incinerator operators may have greater latitude in terms of environmental parameters when testing an incinerator. This is worrying in terms of air quality. “
4th Anniversary of that fateful moment…..by Shasha Khan
When all is said and done, the construction of the incinerator and its imminent operation could have been prevented if THREE of the FIVE Lib Dem councillors on the Planning Committee voted against the incinerator. Read more about what happened here.
It’s four years since that fateful moment. To mark the anniversary we will be demonstrating outside the Sutton Civic Centre at 6:45pm on the same evening the Planning Committee meet.
ASSEMBLE OUTSIDE ENTRANCE TO SUTTON CIVIC OFFICES @ 6:45pm on 10th MAY 2017
Address: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA
The meeting is listed on the Council web site here: