Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

When will Lewisham get food waste recycling?


Lewisham currently doesn’t collect food waste for a number of reasons; currently Lewisham’s refuse (including food waste) is sent to SELCHP where it is incinerated and energy is recovered from it producing electricity which is then piped back into the national grid.

The ideal output for food waste if it were collected would be to take it to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant – the ultimate output being generate electricity (the same thing which is happening at present with the waste being sent to SELCHP).

Although there are additional benefits to AD including the production of compost and nutrient rich fertiliser, at present these benefits are outweighed by the prohibitive costs of purchasing food waste bins and caddies for all lewisham residents as well as additional vehicles and crews to collect the food waste.

This is coupled with the fact that there are currently no AD plants within a reasonable proximity to Lewisham, meaning that the environmental impact of transporting the food waste would also need to be thought about.

However, never say never … food waste is a valuable resource which can be utilised and should the situation arise when collecting food waste made both econmic and environmental sense I’m sure Lewisham would give it serious consideration!!

Lewisham Council’s Head of Environment (Nigel Tyrell) wrote an interesting piece on the boroughs waste strategy which addresses the issue of food waste along with other plans.

4 thoughts on “When will Lewisham get food waste recycling?

  1. Lewisham Council are already encouraging food waste recycling through their promotion of home composting. If you have a garden with enough space for a 330 litre compost bin then why not contact Envirocall on 0208 314 7171 and order a free compost bin before they run out. Compost bins are a good disposal option for all those peelings, tea bags, banana skins and vegetable matter including grass clippings. They can also be used for getting rid of shredded paper (something that is not wanted in the recycling bins).The Council will also give you a free guide in how to use the compost bin and have also run workshops where an expert comes in and teaches residents how to compost properly and how to deal with any problems that arise.

  2. Does any one know if any volunteers are required to collect foods that are still edible but get otherwise thrown away from homes and distribute to the less privileged in Lewisham ?

    • Hi Sathish,

      It’s great to hear that you want to volunteer for such a good cause! I don’t know of any charities that collect food from other people homes and re-distribute them. In Lewisham we do support the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign and run roadshows throughout the borough to promote this, it encourages people to minimise the amount of food waste they throw away and provides tips on food storage and recipies for leftovers.

      I do however know of a national charity that take ‘fit for purpose’ products from the food and drink industry and give them to organisations working with disadvantaged people in the community. The organisation is called Fareshare and I would suggest that they are a good point to start, I’m aware that they are looking for volunteers. Please let me know how you get on and if there are any opportunities for doing this sort of work in Lewisham … as a Council we may be able to help with the promotion of this kind of activity!

  3. Pingback: Lewisham’s recycling rate gets a mention « Recycle for Lewisham

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