Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

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Preventing contamination is important

The Recycling Team are continually trying to communicate to its residents about the importance of putting the right things into the recycling bins to prevent contamination. Make no mistake, recycling contamination is a major issue for the council.  When the wrong items such as food and garden waste get into the recycling bins, this not only affects the bin itself, but also the rest of the load when the wet food and garden waste along with its smell and capacity to soil everything is all compacted together in the recycling vehicle.

For those that want an idea of what compacted recycling looks like when it reaches the Viridor materials recycling facility (MRF), please see the short video clip below. This is what typically happens every day when Lewisham’s recycling vehicles reach capacity and then need to tip.

Now, if you can imagine having items in the load with a large moisture and smell content (food and garden waste for example), this will spread during the compaction process. When this happens, Viridor, the contractor that sorts and separates the collected materials, will simply see the load as spoiled and look at disposing of it via incineration as a lot of the value is lost when paper and cardboard becomes unusable and valueless. When this occurs, the council are left to pick up the additional costs that are associated with disposing of the contaminated loads elsewhere.

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to put dry, clean and correct items into the recycling bin which will ensure everything is recycled and no additional costs are generated for the council.


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Recycling team busy at SELCHP’s annual Open House

On Sunday 20th September, the South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP) plant in New Cross, opened its doors to the general public again as part of the annual Open House event that happens across the capital. For those who are not familiar with what SELCHP does or what it is, put simply, this is where all of the rubbish that goes into your black bin ends up. Once inside the SELCHP plant, all of this rubbish is incinerated.

The burning of rubbish and all of the processes involved with this is clearly something that many people are curious about as the event is very well attended. This is why Lewisham Council’s Recycling Team also attended so that they could speak to many of the attendee’s about waste and in particular recycling and composting.

Kate and Paddy from the Council's Recycling Team spoke to over 100 people throughout the day.

Kate and Paddy from the Council’s Recycling Team spoke to over 100 people throughout the day.

The dates of the Open House event fell quite fortuitously in the middle of Lewisham’s consultation ‘Let’s Talk Rubbish’ which started on the 21st July 2015 and runs until October 18th. The Council would like to know what you think about potential changes that are being proposed across the borough. Are you in favour of fortnightly refuse collections? Would you like to see food collections starting? And what about a subscription garden waste service, would that be something you’d participate in? If you haven’t filled in a survey yet, click on the following link, watch the short video and then tell us what you think:

The recycling trailer was kept busy all day long with inquiries about recycling and composting. This gave Kate and Paddy from Lewisham’s Recycling Team a chance to speak more in depth about the on going consultation to the Lewisham residents that attended. It was also an opportunity to tell people about the change in policy of collecting textiles. This is something that we want everyone in the borough to be made aware of. If you have textiles that you no longer want,  please use a textile bank to dispose of them or a charity shop. Otherwise they will be soiled and ruined beyond use and classed as contamination if they go inside of your recycling bin.

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Flytippers Beware…

The Council’s Clean Streets (Enforcement) Team is continuing to work hard at combating environmental crime within Lewisham Borough. There is constant proactive enforcement activity taking place around all parts of the borough with a recent weekend waste operation being very successful in catching offenders in Catford, Deptford, Forest Hill, Lewisham & Sydenham.


Since 1st August 2015 over 100 individuals (including business owners) have been fined for waste offences committed borough wide. Officers have also issued more than 20 fines for fly-posting offences committed at various locations. Last week a major serial fly-tipper who had been blighting the Brockley Environment with his criminal activity was found guilty of fly-tipping at Bexley Magistrates Court and sentenced to a fine & costs just short of £3500.

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Let’s Talk Rubbish

The Council want to hear what you think about changes that are on the way with the refuse and recycling services. Please tell us what you think. Full details on this can be found on the Council’s website on the following link:

Go online and tell us what you think

Go online and tell us what you think

The consultation runs until 21st October 2015.

Paper copies of the survey can be filled in at the SELCHP Open House event, Landmann Way, on 20th September and at some Lewisham libraries. These will be drop in sessions in Lewisham, Catford, Deptford and Downham libraries, although at Sydenham and Crofton Park libraries people can pop in during opening hours, see details below.


Tuesday 8th September – Lewisham Library 10am – 11am

Tuesday 8th September – Lewisham Library 7pm – 8pm


Friday 11th September – Catford Library – 1pm – 2pm

Saturday 12th September – Catford Library – 10am – 11am


Wednesday 9th September – Deptford Lounge library 2pm – 3pm

Wednesday 9th September – Deptford Lounge library 6.30pm – 7.30pm


Thursday 10th September – Downham Library – 11am – 12pm

Thursday 10th September – Downham Library – 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Sydenham & Crofton Park

During opening hours.

SELCHP Open House, Landmann Way

Sunday 20th September, 10am – 15pm.

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Bank Holiday Refuse and Recycling Collection Changes

There will be changes to your  refuse and recycling collections for the week commencing Monday 31st August 2015.

Please bring your wheelie bins to the boundary of your property a day later if you require a collection

Please bring your wheelie bins to the boundary of your property a day later if you require a collection

Please see below revised collection dates

Week Commencing 31st August
Normal Collection day Revised collection day
  • Monday 31st August
  • Tuesday 01st September
  • Tuesday 01st September
·        Wednesday 02nd September
  • Wednesday 02nd September
·        Thursday 03rd September
  • Thursday 03rd September
·        Friday 04th September
  • Friday 04th September
·        Saturday 05th September

All collections due to weather permitting.


Say goodbye to the small appliance banks

Small appliance banks or WEEE banks as they’re known, have been in parts of the borough since February 2011. There are only 6 of them and they were deliberately placed in the southern parts of Lewisham to serve those residents who were furthest away from our Reuse and Recycling Centre.

The odd break-in into the banks has occurred over the years, but on the whole they have been popular and well used. The aim of the banks was to collect small appliances such as kettles, toasters, hairdryers, radios, DVD players, old phones and other small electronic items that had reached the end of their life and were ready to be recycled.

The banks will be going around August 12th

The banks will be removed from August 12th, 2015

Now 6 years later, we have to say goodbye to the banks as DHL, the company that own and manage the banks do not have the funding to keep and service them any more. DHL have told us that the banks will be removed around the 12th August 2015.

If you still have a broken toaster, radio, or similar item that is stuck in your cupboard, shed or garage, then please take the opportunity to drop them into one of the small appliance banks if you live near one.

The banks can currently be found at the following locations:

  • Turnham Road (opposite the shops)
  • Baring Road Bus Garden (Grove Park)
  • Catford Bus Garage (Bromley Road)
  • Sydenham Road/Porthcawe Road junction (Sydenham)
  • Sydenham Hill
  • Lee Gate Shopping Centre

For those people that are upgrading or replacing old appliances, please ask the retailer if they will accept your old appliance when you purchase the new one. Shops like Argos are doing a trade in scheme for old WEEE items, full details here:

Our Reuse and Recycling centre will always be available for WEEE and many other items that you wish to dispose of, full details can be found here:


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