What else can you recycle in your home?

This week (22nd – 28th June) is recycle week.  Lewisham Council along with lots of local authorities across the UK are encouraging their residents to think more about what can be recycled around the home. The short animated film below illustrates very clearly what other materials there are in the home that should be finding their way into your green recycling bin.

More information about the Council recycling services can be found here: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Pages/What-can-i-put-in-my-recycling-bin.aspx

And remember, please use our textile banks or your local charity shop for the recycling and reusing of clothes and other textiles.

Recycling team attend busy Hilly Fields Summer Fayre

Heavy clouds and a sprinkling of rain didn’t deter anyone from enjoying the Hilly Fields Summer Fayre and our stall certainly had a constant flow of visitors. With nearly 250 festival goers coming up to our recycling trailer we had one busy day!

On top of helping residents with recycling questions, we discussed with many people about whether they’d like Lewisham to introduce a new subscription based garden waste collection and even the possibility of food waste services in the future. We were happy to hear lots of positive comments about these ideas.

Nearly 250 people visited our recycling trailer

Nearly 250 people visited our recycling trailer (photo: Mr Kiley)

 

Residents left happy taking away freebies such as tough reusable carrier bags for recycling and handy kitchen items to keep food fresher for longer and were also signing up for free composting workshops that are coming up soon (see below for details). All in all, a great day was had!

To book on to a free composting workshop, please visit

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/gardenwaste

Plastic recycling – the do’s and don’ts

When it comes to plastics and recycling, the picture can be a bit confusing for residents all wanting to do the right thing. There are just so many different types of plastics in the world, plastics that people use everyday, which many people assume can be recycled.

Plastics come in all shapes and sizes and whilst we do ask for all your milk bottles and plastic bottles, it doesn’t necessarily mean we want every type of plastic.

So what are the plastics we don’t want? The following list details some of the items that Viridor, our current contractor and materials recovery facility operator told us they can’t recycle:

  • Laminated plastics – these can go into your refuse bin
  • CDs and cases and their transparent sleeves – charity shops or the refuse bin
  • Childrens toys – to the local Reuse and Recycling Centre or toy libary
  • Electrical appliances – to Reuse & Recycling Centre or a WEEE bank
  • Video and music cassettes – these can go into your refuse bin
Videos, music cassettes, toys, laminated documents, electrical items cannot be recycled in your green bin

Videos, music cassettes, toys, laminated documents and electrical items cannot be recycled using your green bin

New technologies have made video and music cassettes redundant but many people still have lots of these at home. These are made up of plastic, metal and tape which becomes entangled in the sorting equipment if they end up in the recycling bin. We don’t have any facilities to collect these and the nearest place to process and recycle them is in Bristol.

There are also other ways to make use of some items as well. For example CDs can be used as bird scarers if you’re a gardener or have an allotment. Freecycle could also be seen as a way finding a home for these items as local community projects might be able to use them (often projects like things with different textures and colours to create mosaics for example) or pass them on to friends and family, or sell them on online sites.

Another item that we’d like to see out of the recycling bin is clothing and textiles. Whilst we have been collecting them in the recycling bin when we were with a different contractor, the time has come to change this. We are now asking residents not to use this route and instead use our textile banks or your local charity shops.

Please take clothing to a textile banks or a charity shop

Please take clothing to a textile bank or a charity shop and avoid using your recycling bin

This is because the quality is massively reduced when clothes and textiles are put into the bin. After leaving the bin they are tipped into a truck and then tipped again and sorted at the materials recovery facility (MRF). This isn’t what you’d call a very clean operation and as you can imagine, the clothes get very dirty, smelly and reduced in quality and value. By placing textiles in our textile banks you can be sure someone will be able to enjoy the benefits of your generosity. Visit this link to see where our textile banks are, http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/textile-recycling/Pages/Textile-recycling-banks.aspx

As a general rule of thumb regarding recycling, we say that if it’s not on the sticker on your recycling bin, then please put the item into your refuse bin.

Full details here: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Pages/What-can-i-put-in-my-recycling-bin.aspx

Cup of tea anyone?

Hot and refreshing, nothing beats a good cup of tea. Making it, and popping that little tea bag into a steaming cup just gives you a happy feeling.

But happy feelings aren’t necessarily what the farmers and workers have when they are growing and harvesting the tea. Many work long hours, are underpaid, and live in poverty. Health clinics, running water, electricity and adequate schooling for their children are just things to dream about, rather than a reality. They often cannot even enjoy a cup of tea that they’ve grown themselves.

Thankfully, Fairtrade is working to bring better working conditions, better pay and better community facilities and infrastructure to these people. Farmers associated with Fairtrade now wear smiles as they see their kids furthering their education, bridges being built to connect isolated villages, and medical clinics opening to provide help for the sick.

Each year, Fairtrade week highlights the need for more support for these and the many communities who are not yet benefiting from this organisation.

One way of raising awareness is getting our local schools involved. Here in Lewisham, primary schools have been studying the lives of people around the globe who produce goods such as tea and the great things Fairtrade do.

Encouraged by Lewisham Council, Lewisham kids have been designing Fairtrade posters to enter a competition where the winner’s poster is used on the side of one of our recycling lorries. This year’s winner was Isla Prosser from All Saint’s Church of England Primary School.

Winner of the Fairtrade poster competition, Isla Prosser stands proudly infront of her art work with Cllr Onikosi

Winner of the Fairtrade poster competition, Isla Prosser stands proudly infront of her art work with Cllr Onikosi

By choosing Fairtrade products you’re helping to transform the livelihoods of more than 1.4 million people in 74 countries around the world! I’d have a cup of Fairtrade tea to that!

LoveLewisham Back Soon!

LoveLewisham is over ten years old, and showing it’s age. So we’ve taken it down to update it, save money and make some improvements. If you’ve already got the app installed, it should continue to work OK, but it won’t be available for new installations for a while. In the meantime why not try either the Keep Britain Tidy App or the FixMyStreet App. Both do pretty much the same thing. Let us know which you like best!

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Lots of activity in Lewisham for the national community clear up event

All across the UK, people were reaching for their brooms, litter pickers, black sacks and gloves. Yes, it was the 21st March 2015 and that heralded this years national community clear up event. The activity was no less frenetic right here in Lewisham as community groups up and down the borough came out on what was a windy, cold pre-spring day.

Cllr Rachel Onikosi and Heidi Alexander MP get ready for some litter picking

Cllr Rachel Onikosi and Heidi Alexander MP get ready for some litter picking

On Blackheath, our very own Green Scene Team organised a litter pick and general all round clean up of the common and invited as many volunteers as wanted to come along and brave the cooler climate on the exposed heath. Along with the many enthusiastic volunteers, Heidi Alexander MP and Cllr Rachel Onikosi grabbed bags and litter pickers to support the event by getting stuck into some cleaning up.

Meanwhile in the centre of Lewisham, Cllr Stella Jeffrey helped to tidy up a very litter strewn flower bed that people seem to have been using as a litter bin for the past few months. All manner of detritus had been thrown in there including a microwave oven!

Central Lewisham get a spring clean complete with microwave oven

Central Lewisham gets a spring clean complete with microwave oven

In the southern regions of the borough, volunteers got to work in Chinbrook Meadows and amassed quite a few bags of rubbish including a few interesting finds such as old boots, scooters and paint pots.

Boots, scooters and old pots of paint, Chinbrook Meadows has them all

Boots, scooters and old pots of paint, Chinbrook Meadows has them all

Not to be outdone by the adults, school children that were part of our Clean and Green programme were also asked to get involved with some litter picking outside of their schools. Up in the Lee area, St Winifreds primary school children were seen outside the school gates picking up and recycling street litter. Not to be outdone, another primary school, Grinling Gibbons in Deptford also rolled up their sleeves and made the area outside their school clean and tidy.

Children at Grinling Gibbons keeping the streets of Deptford

Children at Grinling Gibbons keeping the streets of Deptford clean

St Winifreds school made sure the outside of their school was spotless

St Winifreds school made sure the street outside was spotless

All in all, lots of great work done by lots of volunteers to ensure our borough remains free of litter and will continue to do so. A big thank to everyone that took their time to make a small difference to their part of the borough.

Swishers descend on Goldsmiths University for some clothes swapping

Friday the 13th might sound like a risky kind of day to hold an event. But despite being thrown a few unlucky curve balls at the last minute, we pulled through with flying colours, holding a really successful Swishing Event! In case you’re not sure what the swish is all about, it’s a fun social event where you bring your pre-loved clothes to swap them for someone else’s… for free!

All quite before the swishers move in

All quiet before the swishers move in

Lewisham Council, in its endeavour to raise awareness about the huge problem of textile waste, joined forces with Goldsmiths University students who brought a fantastic amount of energy into this campaign.

So, what is the problem?

In the UK, consumers throw away over a million tonnes of textiles every year. All of it could have been reused or recycled instead of going to waste. It’s the equivalent of throwing away £238 million every year. Crazy!  It’s just as crazy to learn that to manufacture one pair of jeans and a t-shirt takes about 20,000 litres of water.

Both students of Goldsmiths University and Lewisham residents came to swap their clothes. At times the change room had a queue as there was a frenzy of trying things on!

Both students of Goldsmiths University and Lewisham residents came to swap their clothes. At times the change room had a queue as there was a frenzy of trying things on!

Yet, there’s also thousands of ways to upcycle textiles, reuse them, swap them, or simply recycle them by putting them in a textile bank, click here for textile bank locations: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/textile-recycling/Pages/Textile-recycling-banks.aspx

This happy swisher had her eye on this shawl since the promotional events earlier in the week and was thrilled to be it's new owner at Friday's event. She was so happy, she came back later in the day for a second swish!

This happy swisher had her eye on this shawl since the promotional events earlier in the week and was thrilled to be it’s new owner at Friday’s event. She was so happy, she came back later in the day for a second swish!

Our swishing event, promoted through posters, information stalls and through social media was held in the Stretch Bar of Goldsmiths University. To the sound of groovy beats and strobe lighting, we had over 50 people come to the swishing event, or see what it was all about.

We took every opportunity to talk about what the event was all about and received great feedback about the concept and event, with 'When's the next one?' being the most asked question!

We took every opportunity to talk about what the event was all about and received great feedback about the concept and event, with ‘When’s the next one?’ being the most asked question!

A great time was had by all and many of the swishers walked away with armfuls of new-to-them clothes and big smiles!

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