LWARB is an acronym for the London Waste and Recycling Board and an organisation that the London Borough of Lewisham applied to for some funding last year.
£33,300 was awarded to Lewisham Council to improve and update bins and signage on estates and flatted properties. It was also used to provide reusable bags for residents to help them carry their recyclables from their homes to the recycling sites on the estates and to fund teams of door knockers. This was also an opportunity for the Council to produce a brand new leaflet for all estates, new developments and blocks of flats to make residents aware of the new changes to the service.
The funding aimed to tackle the levels of participation in recycling from estates residents and increase tonnages across all flats in the borough. The role of the door knocking teams was to speak to the residents living on estates and flatted properties to explain about the Council’s recycling service and how they can participate in it. With the change of recycling contractor, this was seen as an opportunity to inform estates residents about the additional materials that can now go into the recycling bins, i.e. tetra-paks, textiles and mixed plastics.
Contamination of communal recycling bins is also a major issue on estates and causes problems with collections. When a recycling bin is contaminated, a refuse vehicle is sent to empty the entire contents of the bin (where it is incinerated) rather than risking rejection of further tonnages when the recycling vehicles tip at the materials recycling facility (MRF).
This was therefore an opportunity for the door knocking teams to speak directly to the residents of the estates and flatted properties to prevent any further problems. Black sacks, food, garden and electronic waste are seen as contaminants which the door knocking teams were able to discuss directly with the residents. All the residents were also left with a leaflet which gave details about what can and can’t be recycled using the large green bins on the estates. Some estates also benefitted from new signage which again made it perfectly clear what the bins were to be used for.
There are still reusable bags left for any residents that didn’t receive one during the door knocking last year. If you live on an estate, a block of flats or a private development and would like a reusable bag, please email recycleforlewisham.gov.uk and let us know your details.