Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

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Lots of activity in Lewisham for the national community clear up event

All across the UK, people were reaching for their brooms, litter pickers, black sacks and gloves. Yes, it was the 21st March 2015 and that heralded this years national community clear up event. The activity was no less frenetic right here in Lewisham as community groups up and down the borough came out on what was a windy, cold pre-spring day.

Cllr Rachel Onikosi and Heidi Alexander MP get ready for some litter picking

Cllr Rachel Onikosi and Heidi Alexander MP get ready for some litter picking

On Blackheath, our very own Green Scene Team organised a litter pick and general all round clean up of the common and invited as many volunteers as wanted to come along and brave the cooler climate on the exposed heath. Along with the many enthusiastic volunteers, Heidi Alexander MP and Cllr Rachel Onikosi grabbed bags and litter pickers to support the event by getting stuck into some cleaning up.

Meanwhile in the centre of Lewisham, Cllr Stella Jeffrey helped to tidy up a very litter strewn flower bed that people seem to have been using as a litter bin for the past few months. All manner of detritus had been thrown in there including a microwave oven!

Central Lewisham get a spring clean complete with microwave oven

Central Lewisham gets a spring clean complete with microwave oven

In the southern regions of the borough, volunteers got to work in Chinbrook Meadows and amassed quite a few bags of rubbish including a few interesting finds such as old boots, scooters and paint pots.

Boots, scooters and old pots of paint, Chinbrook Meadows has them all

Boots, scooters and old pots of paint, Chinbrook Meadows has them all

Not to be outdone by the adults, school children that were part of our Clean and Green programme were also asked to get involved with some litter picking outside of their schools. Up in the Lee area, St Winifreds primary school children were seen outside the school gates picking up and recycling street litter. Not to be outdone, another primary school, Grinling Gibbons in Deptford also rolled up their sleeves and made the area outside their school clean and tidy.

Children at Grinling Gibbons keeping the streets of Deptford

Children at Grinling Gibbons keeping the streets of Deptford clean

St Winifreds school made sure the outside of their school was spotless

St Winifreds school made sure the street outside was spotless

All in all, lots of great work done by lots of volunteers to ensure our borough remains free of litter and will continue to do so. A big thank to everyone that took their time to make a small difference to their part of the borough.

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Grants for Capital Clean Up’s

Community Clear Up Day is a ‘national spring clean’, backed by the Government, that aims to spruce up the country’s high streets, residential and business areas, villages and parks. Together we can kick off spring 2015 with our public spaces litter free. It’s really simple and fun to take part in Community Clear Up Day – and it’s free!

Join the Community Clean Day on 21st March 2015

Join the Community Clean Day on 21st March 2015

If you are a Lewisham resident and wanted to get involved in some clean up activity, then why not come along to Talbot Place in Blackheath between 2 and 4pm on 21st March where a clean up will be taking place.

A handy toolkit has also been created which includes all the info and tools you need to get your own clear up day organised and take part in the nationwide effort to get rid of litter.

The pack includes key planning tips, editable leaflets, posters and banners which you can use to help organise and promote the event.


Making Rubbish Fashion

Lewisham Council has worked with fashion and design students from LESOCO , to raise awareness about the need to dispose of litter from ‘Food on the Go’ responsibly.

The students created clothes from packaging of well known fast food outlets. They were helped in their quest by kind donations of obsolete packaging  from KFC, Mcdonalds and Muffin Break.

Their stunning creations were exhibited at Lewisham Library and Lewisham shopping centre.

KFC dress made from the red take away boxes

KFC dress made from the red take away boxes

The creations demonstrate that not only is recycling fun, it is possible to make rubbish fashion and to behave responsibly as well.

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Get involved in the Mayor’s Capital Clean Up!

Capital Clean Up

The  scheme is funded by the Mayor of London and supported by the Environment Agency and Groundwork London. If you’re a community group, registered charity, school or small business you can apply for either a cash grant to fund clean-up activities or a Clean-up Kit that contains all the advice and equipment a group needs to get started. Community groups, charities, schools and small businesses can now apply for a Mayor of London Capital Clean-up grant to help tidy up a local green space or waterway. You can apply for a cash grant of between £500 – £2,000, or a Capital Clean-up Kit with all the info and equipment you need to get going.

Capital Clean-up is a partnership campaign led by the Mayor of London as part of his Team London volunteering programme to help Londoners green and clean our city through community engagement and participation. The campaign is now in its fifth year of helping London communities take part in the maintenance of the places where they live and work. So far, we have coordinated over 1,000 clean-up events led by community groups, members of the public and local authorities. Clean-ups have included:

  • Thames riverbank and canal clean-ups
  • Litter picks
  • Habitat restoration; and
  • Graffiti removal

For further information please go to the Capital Clean Up website:


Smoking Related Litter Education day

As part of our Cleaner Streets initiative members of the Environment Community Development (ECD) and Environmental Enforcement teams joined forces for an education/enforcement activity day on Tuesday 15th January 2013, along Lewisham High Street, Wearside Road, Whitburn Road and Ladywell Road.

Stubbies (mobile ashtrays) were handed out to people.

Stubbies (mobile ashtrays) were handed out to people.

The teams monitored these roads whilst educating members of the public on the safe disposal of Smoking related litter. Mini – pocket pouches (stubbies ) were also given to the public to use as means of safe disposal of the cigarette stubs ends instead of dropping on the streets. As a result we spoke to over 40 people and handed out 30 stubbies and issued 3 fixed penalty notices as an offence.

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Lewisham schools helping to stamp out cigarette litter!

How do you best convey the anti-smoking message to younger children? This was one of the challenges faced by Lewisham’s stop smoking service which led to a Smoke free poster competition being run jointly by Lewisham PCT and the Council to raise awareness of the harms of smoking. 

Unlike other anti smoking campaigns focussing on the harm to health, it was decided that Lewisham school children should be asked to consider the environmental consequences and with staggering facts like;

  • it takes one tree to produce the paper for 300 cigarettes,
  • 200 million cigarette butts are dropped throughout the world each day, making cigarettes butts the most littered item in the world and,
  • each butt can take 12 years to biodegrade

 It was obvious why the boroughs children seized the opportunity to take part. 

 We received around 100 entries from Lewisham children and judging was undertaken by Cllr Susan Wise, Cabinet member for Customer Services and Claire Goldie who works with the Lewisham Smokefree service. 

 Entries were of a really high standard and the winner- Katie Makulska of St William of York Primary School had her winning design printed and displayed on the side of a Recycling vehicle. 

Katie’s winning design (shown above with Katie) can been seen on the vehicle in the boroughs roads for the next few months.

A selection of the entries are also being showcased throughout the boroughs libraries and leisure centres and can be found at:

  • Wavelengths, Deptford for two weeks
  • Bellingham Leisure Centre from this week and
  • Downham library from June 26th to July 10th

There are also plans to take the display to Deptford Lounge in August. 

Jo Edun of Lewisham Smokefree Service with St William of York Head teacher- Sharon Lynch and winner- Katie Makulska

If you are thinking about stopping smoking and want some further advice or support, why not contact Lewisham’s Smokefree service by calling 0800 0820 388.  You can also get more information on what’s on offer by visiting their website at;

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Ariel Love Clean London!

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today joined forces with Procter & Gamble (P&G), Worldwide Partner of the London 2012 Games, to deliver the Mayor’s annual Capital Clean-up campaign, now titled the P&G Capital Clean Up.

Over the next three months a series of clean up events designed to bring Londoners together to spruce up neglected areas of the city will be hosted as London gears up to host the greatest show on earth this summer.

Supported by prime time actress Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs / Ashes to Ashes), the P&G Capital Clean-up will be taking place across London from March to June 2012 and an army of around 1,700 community champions is expected to join the transformation, dedicating up to 5,000 hours to scrubbing, sprucing and polishing London’s streets and green spaces.

It is hoped that this year’s clean up efforts will be the biggest yet, with more than 20 individual events take place across March – June 2012 in preparation for the London 2012 Games, clearing in the region of 1,000 bags of litter, removing unsightly graffiti, and restoring swathes of habitat. The public can get involved by signing up to participate in one of the organised clean up events at

Some of the UK’s most recognisable household brands – Flash, Febreze and Ariel detergent and stain remover– are behind the P&G Capital Clean-up and committed to working with the Mayor of London, the GLA, and Londoners to help add sparkle to our host city full of heritage and culture ahead of the London 2012 Games.

  • Flash will be using its amazing cleaning power to create shining landmark images on the Southbank that will help get Londoners excited about the clean up campaign
  • Febreze is planning to make London a fresher, greener place by creating a series of Fresh Havens to help Londoners breathe happy
  • Ariel is on a mission to make London stain free using the ‘Love Clean London’ app: a call to arms for Londoners to report grime and stains across the capital

For the full calendar of the P&G Capital Clean-up events and to register people can visit