Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Police stand by whilst a man is eaten by a large compost heap

People’s Day 2014 and the Green Police were out in force again arresting anyone they caught not recycling and dealing with their waste properly. Many people came to see the recycling stall near the bandstand in Mountsfield Park on what was a lovely summers day and took away the odd freebie (spaghetti and rice measurers, pens, pencils, rulers, cotton shopping bags etc.) or just some information they were after.

Joining forces with Lewisham police to fight the war on waste

Joining forces with Lewisham police to fight the war on waste

Over 150 people visited the recycling stall which also benefitted from being situated right next to the man eating compost heap called Compost Mentis. This was a small theatrical performance by 3 actors which served to highlight the benefits of composting whose star performer was a huge compost heap that comes to life and eventually devours the disgruntled gardener who seems to spend his time in the garden getting annoyed.

Dave Bowman from Bywaters (right) with Kate and Dave from our recycling team

Dave Bowman from Bywaters (left) with Kate and Dave from our recycling team

The Compost Mentis performance drew quite a healthy crowd and children in particular were mesmerised by the large compost heap gulping down the gardener and letting out a mighty burp at the end. For those that weren’t able to see the performance, please click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQuDKLHNRXo

A disgruntled gardener has a closer look at the large compost heap

A disgruntled gardener has a closer look at the large compost heap

This year like last year, the Green Police aka Lewisham’s Recycling Team were joined by a new recruit from Bywaters, the company that takes all of the recyclables that are collected in the recycling bins across the borough. Dave Bowman (Recycling Quality and Tipping Relations Manager) was on hand to answer all those tricky questions posed by residents regarding what happens after all those tins, cans, bottles, cardboard, paper and beverage cartons are tipped into the back of a recycling vehicle. It was very useful having him there as there were quite a few residents that were intent on grilling him and finding out all about the sorting and separating processes.

The gardener is devoured  by the large compost heap and shocking all the onlookers

The gardener is devoured by the large compost heap and shocking all the onlookers

Overall, a very productive day for the team and hopefully all the questions that were asked were answered satisfactorily. Everyone liked the Love Food Hate Waste freebies that were given away. We also promoted the Love Food Hate Waste website which is a very useful resource and covers all aspects of food including recipes and how to store food correctly. For those who are not familiar, please see the following link: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/


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International Composting Week turns out more Green Thumbs in Lewisham!

What do seaweed, urine, nettles and grass clippings have in common? They are all rich in Nitrogen and are a fabulous food source within your compost. And what do loo rolls, sticks, scrunched paper and dried leaves have in common? They are all high in Carbon and provide the necessary structure and air pockets for your compost.

The finished product

The finished product

Together these types of ingredients provide the ideal environment for millions of micro-organisms and other creatures such as worms, wood lice, fruit fly, snails and beetles to live. They’ll make homes and munch away at your garden and kitchen waste turning it into compost.

A full compost bin ready for the garden

A full compost bin ready for the garden

Here at Lewisham, we’ve just celebrated International Composting Week by running 6 free workshops where nearly 60 people learnt how to set up and maintain a healthy compost at home.  Some had already started composting but needed help to get the best result out of it, however many had never done any composting before attending the course. Regardless of experience everyone who attended were enthused to compost even more…

Leave it in a warm place in the garden

Leave it in a warm place in the garden

“(The course) was informative and encouraging. I got good ideas for tackling my compost without it sounding difficult…”

A 220 litre compost bin

A 220 litre compost bin

 “(The course) was fun, well delivered, and was a nice atmosphere and location… got me in the mood for more gardening!”

Peelings, grass clippings, tea bags etc. can all go into the compost bin

Peelings, grass clippings, tea bags etc. can all go into the compost bin

We hope to run more sessions later in the year, so if you are interested in coming along, keep an eye out on the Council’s website or in Lewisham Life for advertised sessions.

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Garden-waste/Pages/Composting.aspx


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Mr Compost promotes Compost Awareness Week

Compost Awareness Week has been running from May 6th – 12th. As part of this and as part of a longer term strategy, Lewisham Council have been promoting the benefits of composting by speaking to residents in Lewisham’s Shopping Centre and also in Catford Market.

Lewisham’s very own Mr Compost also came along to the shopping centre in Lewisham to meet and greet shoppers and to talk to them about how compost can benefit the environment by providing a free source of compost made in your own garden.

This saves residents money as well as they get a free source of compost and it also saves the Council money as all your peelings, teabags, leaves, grass and vegetable matter can be dealt with at home rather than be transported to New Cross and be incinerated – which obviously costs the Council money.

Mr Compost meets an unsuspecting shopper

 At the moment we are giving away compost bins to residents with a garden (or with available communal space) by way of encouraging further take up of composting. Mr Compost is modelling the type of compost bin you will receive (220 litre) in the image above and we can also provide a starter booklet with this which gives you a step by step guide on how to use your compost bin. It also details the things that might go wrong and how to correct any problems if and when they occur.

On top of this we are also running workshops where residents can come along and listen to an expert composter explain all about the processes involved and answer any questions that people might have about composting.


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Free composting workshops

Our composting workshops are a fantastic way for newcomers to learn about the subject and they can also offer handy tips to composting veterans! In just over an hour you can learn:

  • Best placement and setting up a composting area
  • Do’s and don’ts of what to put in
  • How to treat difficult plant matter
  • Getting the balance of materials right
  • Speeding up the process

Where?

Downham Library

7-9 Moorside Road, Downham, Bromley BR1 5EP

 When?

There are 4 sessions to choose from:

  • Tuesday 1 May      10.30 – 11.45am
  • Tuesday 1 May       1 – 2.15pm
  • Wednesday 2 May   5 – 6.15pm
  • Wednesday 2 May   7 – 8.15pm

 Booking is essential

To book, please email kristina.binns@lewisham.gov.uk

Please title email ‘composting 2012’, state which date, time and how many people will attend.

 Alternatively, call 020 8314 2145, you may need to leave a message as this phone is often “un-manned”.

Please state which date, time and how many people will attend and leave your contact details.