Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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New Technology makes Britain a world leader

On Tuesday 15th January Lewisham’s Recycling Team visited the SWEEEP Kuusakovski recycling facility in Sittingbourne. All of the borough’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is taken there to be recycled. Sweeep Kuusakoski are one of the UK’s leading WEEE collection and recycling specialists.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment piles up before being processed.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment piles up before being processed.

The £5m recycling plant is one of the most sophisticated and environmentally robust facilities in Europe. SWEEEP recycle over 94% of all WEEE that comes into the facility and are continually looking to improve that rate. The facility has a host of machinery that helps it to disassemble and sort different items from precious metals to rigid plastics, but despite all of this technology it would not be any where near as efficient without the dedicated people that do the jobs that the machinery cannot.

Staff at SWEEEP sort and process the electronic waste off conveyor belts.

Staff at SWEEEP sort and process the electronic waste off conveyor belts.

They have also invested over £2m in the research, design and build of the first leaded glass extraction furnace. The Nulife technology means that they are able to remove all the lead that is in the old style cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs. On average an old CRT TV had over 1kg of lead in it and since we moved over to flat screen technology this leaded glass has been stockpiled throughout the world.

SWEEEP have invested in innovative technology to extract lead from old CRT's.

SWEEEP have invested in innovative technology to extract lead from old CRT’s.

The SWEEEP Kuusakovski facility is the only place in the world where this hazardous waste can be processed. The furnace separates the lead from the glass and both are able to be reused in industry and manufacturing again. It is an absolutely amazing process and is a real success story of Britain’s new green economy.

Justin Greenaway, Contracts Manager at SWEEEP. 1 CRT produces 1 kg of lead.

Justin Greenaway, Contracts Manager at SWEEEP. 1 CRT produces 1 kg of lead.

SWEEEP have now introduced free WEEE Collections for all of the education facilities in the borough. So if you know of any Schools, Colleges or Universities that could use the service please contact Amanda at SWEEEP on Amanda Hamley@sweeep.co.uk or 01795 434125.  For further information please click on the following link  http://www.sweeep.co.uk/


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The Full Set

So we’ve finally got our act together and created a REUSE tab for the blog, meaning we can now boast the full complement of reduce, reuse and recycle. The reuse tab is going to act as a directory of local and national businesses who are able to take things that you don’t want or need and do something useful with them.

If you know of, or are a business that fit’s into this criteria leave a comment at the bottom of the page or send an email to joe.kingston@lewisham.gov.uk … In the meantime we hope you find the new page useful.


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What about commercial waste?

“I see so much rubbish dumped in plastic bags in the street. The council needs to provide better bins for commercial premises and get tougher on take aways throwing away old food. This just gets taken out by foxes, crows or rats and is a health and safety hazard. It also makes the streets untidy and I feel sorry for the street cleaners who have to clear up old rice and food”
Thanks to Chapperst for this question
 
Commercial waste is a tricky one and is always the responsibility of the business that produces the waste, the barrier for businesses is that they have to pay for a waste and recycling collection. The vast majority of businesses do this very well and are responsible, there are however some businesses who either aren’t aware of this or who intentionally dump rubbish in plastic bags on the street.
 
The Council do provide a commercial waste and recycling service for businesses which currently serves over 3,000 businesses and schools throughout the borough. Some businesses however choose to use other contractors, so not all of the commercial waste bins in the borough are the Councils.
 
With regards to the plastic bags being on the street, we provide specified time-bands for businesses to place their rubbish out. This ensures that a minimum amount of on street rubbish, much of the commercial waste gets collected at nights. If a business has the room for a commercial waste bin then we can provide them with a bin if they choose to use the Council’s trade waste service. The collection containers range from ordinary sized bins to large bulk bins, however some businesses prefer to just use bags.
 
We also carry out campaigns where we target specific streets where we know there is an issue with fast food littering and are able to change street cleaning schedules so that areas get swept at problem times during the day. If you have any specific streets in mind please let us know and we can target these! You can also report environmental problems such as littering on the love clean streets site.
 
Our street sweepers do an excellent job and have split carts to separate recyclables from normal litter, we have also trialled split recycling/litter bins on Lewisham high street but the results were disappointing with wrong items being put in both sides of the bin.
 
I hope this helps!