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: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Pages/Consultation-on-waste-and-recycling-changes.aspx

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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Clean and Green Awards 2015

The Clean and Green Schools programme started 14 years ago and is a campaign aimed at raising awareness in green issues and encouraging young people to look after their local environment. The programme has produced some truly wonderful work, from various schools across Lewisham.

This year, 8 schools took part in the programme and we were thrilled to see the efforts the schools went to, in order to make their school as Clean and Green as possible. When this programme is fully embraced, it can really cultivate school pride amongst teachers and pupils alike, as well as help schools create lasting relationships within their local communities.

The overall winner of the programme for 2015, winning the Distinction Gold Award and a cheque for £300 was awarded to All Saints Primary School, in Blackheath.

Pupils Isla Prosser and James Galbraith receiving their awards

Pupils Isla Prosser and James Galbraith receiving their awards

 This week, judges and organisers of the Clean and Green Schools programme visited All Saints Primary School to award them with their well-deserved prize, and to thank them for their participation and wonderful achievements that the whole school community were involved in.

The judges of the competition felt that All Saints really embraced all the categories the schools were judged on, including:

  • Pupil and community involvement
  • Communication
  • Effectiveness
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation

From regular audits, improvements to recycling facilities and clean ups, to Fairtrade cafes, cook-ups and fashion parades, All Saints involved not only the school, but the wider community.

Impressing the judges, All Saints went to great lengths to ensure that many of the activities were not one-off events but became part of the school’s sustained culture.

Isla and James with teachers Ms Pippa Williams and Miss De Souza with Kristina Binns from Lewisham Council (left)

Isla and James with teachers Ms Pippa Williams and Miss De Souza with Kristina Binns from Lewisham Council (left)

The judges were astounded to discover that All Saints researched Fairtrade clothing companies to then use this clothing as part of their school uniforms. This was very innovative and also showed a genuine desire to integrate sustainable practices into the school.

All Saints, have done an absolutely fantastic job! On behalf of Lewisham Council, we would like to thank you very much for taking part in the programme and for being such an inspiring school!


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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.


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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


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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!


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THE TAKING AND GIVING BACK LIVING LIBRARY – A participatory experience

Saturday 27th September at 11.45am THE ORCHESTRATED WASTE PROCESSION will leave the gallery and make its way through Deptford Market stopping at THE LIVING LIBRARY MARKET STALL and various skips en route including a rubbish trading point. At Margaret McMillan Park the marchers collaborate to use their found materials to make world globe sculptures spontaneously. All welcome, so come and join us!

THE RUBBISH LIVING ROOM

Set within the culturally and historically revered library context, the newly categorised found rubbish contrasts by juxtaposition, to be revalued, reused and transformed. Provocatively and directly questioning consumer habits; the Library and the Living Room encourage shifting from a profit and loss ethos to a creative playful rediscovery of taken for granted stuff thrown out everyday. Participants are welcome to take stuff away to create new uses/forms/artwork, photograph the work and return the image to the Library to be re-referenced in its turn by others. Additionally participants must replenish, using newly found items, with a view to inspire others. This is a community, educational and audience immersive project learning from the doing.

The Artist Margaret Jennings studied foundation art at UAL Camberwell gaining a distinction and is currently studying BA Fine Arts at Goldsmiths University of London.

The Giving and Taking Back Living Library was exhibited June to July 2014 at Goldsmiths University Library and at the Menier Gallery. In November the Library moves to Greenwich University.

For more information ring Margaret on 07788 928 569 or e-mail margaretkokoroarts@gmail.com, also more information can be found at www.gold.ac.uk under the events calendar June & July and library blog & events.

DEPTFORD XFRINGE Arts Festival, MMX Gallery, 448 New Cross Road, SE14 6TY. mmxartgallery@gmail.com

For more information ring Margaret Jennings on 07788 928 569 or e-mail margaretkokoroarts@gmail.com

Press View – 11am, Friday 26th September. Private View – 6pm – 8pm ish Friday 26th September including “Beautiful World” vocal performance and rubbish raffle.

12noon – 6pm, 26th September – Sunday 5th October 2014.