Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Be a Recycling Superhero!!

Recycling Superheroes – Inspirational examples from our younger generation!

Recycling Super Heroes have previously been found in local schools.  More  are needed!!

Children wanting to become Super Heroes, from year 5, are asked to tell us in no more than 100 words why they should be made one!

There will be prizes for the most inspiring!

Examples of last years winners:

’I recycle, reuse and reduce every day. I recycle when me and my family fill up our recycling bag and empty it out in a recycling bin.  I reuse by mending old clothes or sending them to charity. I reduce when I turn things off that aren’t being used.  I also have a job in school to turn things off. I even wrote an Eco-code for my school to remember.  If I was a Recycling Superhero I would promote walking, cycling, and recycling to people around me, like sending leaflets to my neighbours.

Thank you for reading. From Fadekemi Adeleye’

‘My name is Mya Musundi and I’m sure I’d make the best Recycling Superhero. I am the complete eco warrior. I love recycling, I make my own dolls houses out of recycled materials and help my Mum sort what goes in recycling. Me and my Mum also make natural slug repelents for the plants, out of recycled materials, egg shells. If I was a recycling super I would organise an event where everybody can come and make new things out of recycled materials.

That’s why I should be a recycling hero.

Please send your ‘Heroic’ story to  beth.sowden@lewisham.gov.uk to let us know about something you’ve already done, by Friday 15th of February!!!

We look forward to hearing from you!


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What a busy WEEEk that was

And so it begins….

Preparations for the annual WEEE Week event start a long time before we even get to autumn. Whilst the sun is shining and children are enjoying their summer holidays, we at WEEE Man HQ are deciding which schools to target for WEEE Week that we run in October/November time.

Our strategy is to target schools in the north, east, south, west and somewhere central to Lewisham in an attempt to engage and reach as many people as possible and so spread the educational message as well collecting as much Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment as we can.

WEEE Man and Kristina from our recycling team at Coopers Lane Primary School.

With the Lewisham map spread out in a secret underground bunker (aka Wearside depot), and a team of generals assembled (the recycling team), we look at which schools we are going to target for our 2012 campaign. After much discussion and deliberation a shortlist of 5 schools is produced. We also draw up a reserve list in case the original 5 can’t accommodate us.

With our 5 schools earmarked and our pins firmly stuck in the Lewisham map, it’s then a matter of contacting the schools through a series of emails and phone calls. Phone messages and emails are duly dispatched to all 5 schools and its then just a matter of waiting for the school summer holidays to finish.

A Council Waste Prevention Officer from our recycling team shows the school assembly some examples of waste electrical and electronic equipment at St Augustine’s.

Within a couple of weeks of the summer holidays finishing, follow up calls are made to the original 5 schools to secure their participation in this years event. Within the second week of chasing up the 5 original schools, two drop out straightaway as they are busy on the suggested dates – so we select others from our reserve list.

Typically a school’s involvement with WEEE Week starts with a visit by the recycling team and WEEE Man to conduct a school assembly. A member of the recycling team goes through a power point presentation with the children and shows them props (an old toaster, radio, hairdryer and an iron etc.) to demonstrate the sort of items that we are interested in collecting. We then show the children a short film featuring WEEE Man coming back from the future Terminator style, bringing the message of recycling and how important it is to collect redundant electronic waste. When the film finishes, we ask the children if they liked WEEE Man which we usually receive a resounding YEESSSSS. We then ask them if they would like to meet WEEE Man to which we receive an even bigger resounding YEEESSSSSSSS!!

Then, either from behind a curtain or from out of an old PE store cupboard, WEEE Man dramatically appears. The children as you can imagine get very excited to see him. WEEE Man is the strong silent moody type of Superhero and during his appearance he wanders among the children without uttering a single word. Any questions that the children have for him are answered by a member of the recycling team. Once a brief Q&A session has taken place, WEEE Man takes his leave and goes back from where he appeared from. After the assembly finishes, a few lucky children are chosen to stay behind for photographs with him. Even close up to WEEE Man the children are still in awe of him and are a little nervous of having their picture taken with him.

WEEE Man at John Stainer School.

Before disappearing after the assemblies, we leave a few hundred flyers behind which the school distribute to the children via their book bag. The aim of the leaflet is to inform parents, carers, aunties, uncles, grandparents etc. of the forthcoming WEEE Week which takes place two weeks after the assemblies. We leave a week between collections and assemblies to give us more time to put further messages out on Twitter and deliver more leaflets in the local community.

Then two weeks later we return to the school which a large collection vehicle, an A frame sign and start collecting all manner of electronics from school children, parents and teachers alike. This year we collected old video recorders, DVD players, clockwork radios and regular radios, lots of hairdryers and irons, a few toasters, a couple of food mixers, some speakers, some old CCTV equipment, amplifiers, a few laptops, lamps, bread makers, mobile phones, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, old computers, printers and an abundance of cables and plugs.

We return with a truck and an A frame sign to collect all those unwanted electrical items.

With regard to this years efforts, the recycling team would like to say a big thank you to the five schools that took part in the WEEE Week event and they were Tidemill Academy, Deptford, John Stainer school, Brockley, Adamsrill Primary school, Sydenham, Coopers Lane Primary school, Grove Park and St Augustine’s Catholic Primary school, Catford.

Through the partnership of Lewisham’s recycling team and the participating schools above, we managed to collect over a tonne of waste electrical and electronic equipment this year.

If there are other schools that would like to participate next year and think their assemblies would benefit from a visit by our Superhero WEEE Man, then please contact paddy.swift@lewisham.gov.uk


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WEEE Man v Recycler the robot

Its been a electrifying week over the last two weeks in Lewisham schools as the electronic giants of the recycling world fight it out for their cause.

The fortnight began with Lewisham’s very own, award nominated WEEE Man (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) who visited five schools to raise awareness of WEEE waste. It is estimated that on average in the UK, each person buys 2.8 new electrical items a year which has led to electrical goods becoming the fastest growing waste stream, increasing by around 5% each year. Faced with this challenge, Lewisham’s Environmental & Community Development (ECD) team came up with the idea for WEEE man- a recycling superhero created by using recycled pieces or electrical equipment targeted at primary aged children.

WEEE Man and Cllr Susan Wise help out at the collection at St Augustines Catholic Primary School with children (left to right) Tawana, Sarujan, Taylor, Jada and Joan.

Following the visits, the ECD team set up temporary collection points outside Tidemill Academy, John Stainer Community Primary, Adamsrill Primary, Coopers Lane and St Augustines Schools. Children, teachers, parents and residents from surrounding roads were invited to bring along their WEEE waste along and we managed to collect a large miscellaneous items including : toasters, laptops, stereos, mp3 players, lamps, mobile phones, food mixers, games consoles, irons and electric toothbrushes. Cllr Susan Wise, Cabinet member for Customer Services lent her support to WEEE Week by attending the collection at St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School.

The second superhero visiting schools was Recycler the rapping robot- a creation thought up by Waste Watch and brought in to visit schools who signed up to this years Clean & Green programme. Recycler who talked, sung and danced during a 45 minute session highlighted the meaning and importance of the three ‘R’’s- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and explained the resource lifecycles of everyday objects.

From left to right are: Mark Butler, Joana Rocha Santos, Giorgia Nair, Hilman Hazizi, Felix Biddle kneeling in the front with Recycler the robot at the centre.

Shirley- Recyclers Roboteer, encourages the children to look at ways they can help to reduce their waste, giving practical examples such as taking old carrier bags to shops instead of picking up new ones and buying cereal in large boxes instead of small multipacks which have a lot more packaging. The children are then encouraged to take the message home and spread the word amongst their parents and carers.

For further information on where waste electrical can be recycled please visit our website at

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/dispose-of/Pages/Small-electricals-mobile-phones.aspx.

We will be doing a full review of  WEEE Man’s school visits and be giving  more details on how all the collections went.


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Local pupils rap about recycling with Recycler the robot

After a fantastic year last year, the Clean & Green team has been inundated with registrations for this year’s programme.  Thirty schools have applied and for many, it’s their first year of taking part.

School children will have the chance to meet Recycler the Robot

The Clean and Green programme offers schools support to address topics which really make a difference; waste and recycling, local environmental quality, love food, energy and climate change, transport, biodiversity, fair trade, water and animal welfare. Schools who sign up all receive visits from the team to help them set up a growing area, undertake a litter survey or a waste audit of their school. 

They also have a chance to get a visit from Recycler, enter competitions, get advice and help for the school and other support.  We are now oversubscribed for this year’s programme- but we will be running the programme again next year with applications being welcomed from July 2013! 

For more information and to download a pack, please visit: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx


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Lewisham schools awarded in the 12th Annual Clean & Green awards

During the last twelve months, 25 schools from across Lewisham have been taking part in the Clean and Greens schools programme. Throughout the school year, the programme offers support to schools to address topics which make a difference to not only the school but the wider community and environment.

Cllr Susan Wise presenting the first prize award winners of this year C&G programme- St Winifred’s Infant School

At the start of each school year, we encourage schools to participate. Children and teachers come up with innovative ways to explore topics such as; waste and recycling, local environmental quality, love food, energy and climate change, transport , biodiversity, fair trade, water and animal welfare. Members from the Environment and Community Development team visit the schools and support activities which include group work, surveys and presentations.

This years entrants have maintained the very high standard received in previous years and a selection of topics were tackled in a creative way. This included; All Saints schools setting up a Fair trade tuck shop run by parents, Kelvin Grove school creating a growing area for crops which is maintained by a weekly gardening club and parents, John Stainer school setting up a ‘stride and ride’ scheme to encourage children and parents to at least travel some part of the journey without using the car.

Sade Christian- Imoreh from Adamsrill Primary School receiving her runners up award for her entry to the poetry section

At the end of the year, all the work undertaken by the school is presented to the judging panel who include Cllr Susan Wise- Executive Member for Customer Services. The overall winners this year were chosen for their high quality submissions, with the highly commended award going to Stillness Infant School whose activities included; reusing items found around the school to create a scarecrow ‘cyclist from team GB’ which was then entered into an RHS Scarecrow competition and also started up a scheme to reuse elastic bands which had been found around the school and started up a series of lunchtime activities to create alternative play equipment.

This years overall winners were St Winifred’s Infants school who submitted an exemplary entry. The school chose Transport as one of their topics, recruiting their own junior road safety officers who carried out road travels surveys. For their second topic of Waste and Recycling, the children successfully engaged with local businesses to arrange collection of their tin cans which they then sold for recycling. Other initiatives included a ‘big pedal’ to school and mobile phone collection box at school.

The Awards ceremony took place on July 4th at the Council Chambers where Stillness Infants School were presented with a £350 cheque and St Winifred’s Infants received £500. Prizes of book tokens were also given to entrants of poetry and poster competitions.

We will be sending information to all schools about how they can register to take part in the coming weeks. If you work in a school in the borough and do want more information about the Clean & Green programme you can visit the website at

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx or contact Kate Parkinson or Beth Sowden on 020 8314 2245 or email Kate.parkinson@lewisham.gov.uk


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Junior Citizens learn all about recycling

The Council’s recycling team have again been involved in the annual Junior Citizen programme. This year it has been held at the Lee Green Fire Station on Eltham Road and aims to teach children about the dangers of drugs, safety on public transport and talking to strangers amongst many other subjects including recycling and waste.

 The recycling team do already run a successful Clean and Clean programme across the borough in Lewisham’s primary schools, however this gives us another opportunity to engage with children further and to talk to them about the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We also talk about what should and shouldn’t go into the recycling bins and finally give them some examples of what happens to the things they recycle and what they eventually end up being recycled into.

 Groups of children go from room to room in the fire station and spend around 12 minutes in each learning something new. It is hoped that what they learn about recycling can be taken home and taught to their parents. The two week event finishes on Friday.


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WEEE Man trims down WEEE waste during WEEE Week

WEEE Week ran from September 24th through to October 1st, 2011. In the build up to this event, Lewisham Council called upon the services of its new superhero WEEE Man, who came along to raise awareness and the profile of this type of waste.

 The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) was introduced into UK law in January 2007 by the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006. It aims is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it.

 With the help of WEEE Man, Lewisham Council set about taking the message of recycling WEEE waste to the people of Lewisham. A couple of weeks before WEEE Week started, several schools were visited where a presentation was given to the assemblies about the issues surrounding electronic waste and how this could be recycled. The presentation informed the children about what WEEE waste was, and why it was important to recycle and dispose of this waste in the best way possible. This also included reusing any working items of electronic waste whenever possible.

 The children were then shown this short film featuring WEEE Man 

which they enjoyed very much before the actual man himself appeared to the very excited assemblies. He wandered amongst the excited children before making his exit and leaving behind flyers which the children were instructed to take home to their parents. The flyers carried all the information about the WEEE waste collections that were taking place at 6 schools. The schools that took place were Kelvin Grove, Sydenham, Forster Park, Catford, Ladywell Fields College, Ladywell, All Saints School, Blackheath, Sir Francis Drake, Deptford and Edmund Waller, New Cross. Two consecutive Saturday collections also took place at Dacres Road Nature Reserve.

 The collections saw lots of items being brought, from obsolete video recorders, defunct irons, hairdryers, and microwave ovens, through to redundant printers, scanners, old telephones, faxes, radios, stereos and even a hedge trimmer (see photo above). During the collection week, WEEE Man even decided to put in an appearance and was mobbed by children seeking autographs (see photo below).

 Two caged vehicles worth of WEEE waste was collected during the seven days that the collections ran for and a total of 1880kg of WEEE waste was collected. That’s nearly 2 tonnes!

 For those people that didn’t manage to drop off their old and unwanted items of WEEE waste, don’t forget that we still have 6 small appliance banks around the borough https://recycleforlewisham.com/2011/02/11/small-appliance-banks/ that can be used at any time. If you have items that are too big and not suitable for the small appliance banks, you can always take them to the Reuse and Recycle Centre at Landmann Way.

 Thank you to everyone that came along with your old toasters, kettles and radios etc and for making this event the success that it was. WEEE Man also called on the WEEE phone to say a big thank you to all the schools and the children for all their help and support. He will be more than happy to make return visits to schools and visit other schools in the future.