The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has signed the contract for the Edmonton Incinerator redevelopment with the infrastructure and renewable energy company Acciona.

The project has attracted protests, with critics raising fears about the environmental implications of building a new incinerator.

Initially thought to have been earmarked for signing last week, the contract was finalised on Monday, January 24, for what the NLWA has described as “one of London’s most significant public infrastructure projects in decades”.

The NLWA – comprised of representatives Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest councils – claims the project will not only lead to hundreds of jobs, but will also generate enough electricity for up to 127,000 homes and heat and hot water for up to 50,000.

It says the incinerator will have carbon capture installed after 2030, and that it will not undermine recycling – a concern raised by Haringey Council leader Peray Ahmet in a recent letter to the authority.

NLWA’s chair, Waltham Forest councillor Clyde Loakes (Lab, Leytonstone), said: “With contracts signed and sealed with Acciona, work now begins on the next stage of one of the most sustainable and nationally significant projects ever to tackle waste and increase recycling rates, and one which greatly boosts employment opportunities in the area.”

He said Acciona will utilise “the world’s best tech”, including selective catalytic reduction technology, which will convert the nitrogen oxide from incinerating waste into water and nitrogen, thus rendering it harmless when released into the atmosphere.

Haringey councillor Scott Emery (Lib Dem, Muswell Hill), environment spokesperson for the opposition and the proposer for a recent motion against the project, said: "It is extremely regrettable that the NLWA has chosen not to review its plans for an incinerator – which were last consulted on over six years ago – and has ploughed on with signing the contract for this expensive project.

“This is a major disappointment, but our campaign will not stop here. We will continue to argue against building this polluting facility in one of London's poorest and most diverse areas."