Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


100% FREE collection and recycling of your school’s waste electric and electronic equipment

What’s the catch?  There is none.  Simply collect a minimum of 12 computer base units and we will take away all your WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) waste FREE OF CHARGE.

Electrical waste is NOT restricted to I.T equipment and covers anything electrical or electronic,  plus there is no minimum specification for the base units. This service is being managed by SWEEEP Kuusakoski, in partnership with Lewisham Council and provides education facilities with an all-round financially and environmentally efficient service.

This is a great opportunity for schools to dispose of their old IT and electronic equipment using this free service.

This is a great opportunity for schools to dispose of their old IT and electronic equipment using this free service.

Simple steps to book your collection:

Call Amanda on 01795 434125 or email Collections will be made within 48 hrs of your call or on a preferred date, along with full waste transfer notes and certificates of destruction.

All waste is responsibly recycled at our processing centre in Sittingbourne and we are the only waste processing centre in the world to have Nulife technology that separates lead and glass used in the older style TV and monitor screens, so you can be assured that 97.39%  of your waste is recycled, by 100% renewable energy, with the small portion of waste left going to ‘waste to energy’ production.  Click here to view the BBC video demonstrating our recycling best practise.

What your colleagues are saying:

‘Great service, well organised and friendly staff!’ – Lesley Osbourne – Bradfields School

‘I couldn’t believe it was free. It was fantastic. I am already collecting some electrical appliances to recycle. This kind of service is a great help for the schools, the community  and the environment as it promotes the recycling culture and safe disposal of non-wanted electrical appliances’. Wilfredo Chillitupa Z – Wainscott Primary School

Amanda Hamley

 Tel: +44 (0)1795 434125

after 5 years of good service the SWEEEP website gets a refresh:

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Lewisham Council’s garden waste satellite collection service ends on 25 November

The green waste collection points are located at:

  • Riddons Road junction with Mayeswood Road
  • Girton Road car park, Sydenham
  • Laurence House car park, Catford
  • Kitto Road, outside Hill Station Café (previously Café Orange), Telegraph Hill

Plant material should be no bigger than 4 inches in diameter (logs, large branches etc.) and green waste can be brought in plastic sacks or, preferably, reusable bags.

The things that we don’t want you to bring along are:

  • Kitchen waste (food waste, peelings etc.)
  • Soil
  • Turf
  • Stones, rocks, bricks etc.
  • Japanese Knotweed

November 25th is your final day for dropping off your green waste at our satellite sites.

Proof of address and ID must be shown to enable you to use the service and no trade waste, trailers or open back vehicles are accepted.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “The satellite collection points have been a great success this year – thanks to all the residents who dropped off more than four hundred tonnes garden waste! Another great way to make sure your garden waste goes to good use is to start your own compost bin. Why not contact the Council for advice or to ask about attending a workshop.”

You can still dispose of garden waste for free throughout the year at the Reuse and Recycling Centre on Landmann Way, New Cross, SE14:  Find out more about Landmann Way and the Council’s garden waste kerbside service:

You can purchase 10 heavy-duty green garden waste sacks from the Council for £10 from your local library or through contacting CallPoint on 020 8314 7171. When a bag is full, you simply ring the number on the side of the bag and arrange a collection time with the Call Centre.

Why not take up the Council’s offer of a free compost bin and free composting lessons. The Council is doing this to reduce the amount of food and garden waste that gets thrown into black refuse bins. You are able to put a variety of things into your compost bin including grass cuttings, raw vegetable peelings, tea bags and coffee grounds.

Ring CallPoint on 020 8314 7171 to request a free composting bin. Email to register for a free composting lesson.


Green waste collection points service starts soon

For all the green fingered residents amongst you, the Council are starting up their green waste satellite collection points soon. The scheme officially starts on Saturday 24th March 2012 and finishes the last Sunday in November, which is the 25th November.

Grass clippings and shrubbery welcome                                © Simon Howden

The green waste collection points are in the usual places, which are,

  • Riddons Roadjunction withMayeswood Road
  • Girton Roadcar park, Sydenham
  • Laurence House car park, Catford
  • Kitto Road, outside The Hill Station, Telegraph Hill

Please remember that plant material should be no bigger than 4 inches in diameter (logs, large branches etc.). The green waste can be brought in plastic sacks or preferably reusable bags.

The things that we don’t want you to bring along are,

  • Kitchen waste (food waste, peelings etc.)
  • Soil
  • Turf,
  • Stones, rocks, bricks etc.
  • Japanese Knotweed

Proof of address and ID must be shown to enable you to use the service and we don’t accept any trade waste or trailers and open back vehicles. We would also take action against anyone caught flytipping at these sites.

For further information about the Reuse and Recycling Centre,Landmann Way, New Cross or the Council’s garden waste kerbside service, please contact EnviroCall on 020 8314 7171.

photo: Simon Howden

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Free Composting Workshops!

Making and using compost is the cornerstone of gardening, especially organic gardening. So with that in mind what better opportunity to get started or learn a bit more about composting than with our Free Composting Workshops.

In just 1 hour you can learn…

How to get a compost started

  • Do’s and don’ts – what goes into a compost
  • How to get the best out of your compost
  • Wormeries
  • Q & A

To book onto a course, please email Kristina on: (please title email “compost workshop”, state which date, time and how many people will attend).

The Workshops are:

Manor House Library – 34 Old Road, London SE13 5SY

  • May 10th (Tuesday) 7-8pm
  • May 11th (Wednesday) 9.30-10.30am and 11am-12noon

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve, Forest Hill, SE23 (entrance is opposite Tyson Road)

  • June 1st (Wednesday) 5.30-6.30pm and 7-8pm
  • June 2nd (Thursday) 5.30-6.30pm and 7-8pm
  • June 3rd (Friday) 3-4pm and 4.30-5.30pm
  • June 4th (Saturday) 9.30-10.30am and 11am-12noon

Alternatively call 020 8314 2145. You may need to leave a message as this phone may not be attended to everyday. Please state which date, time and how many people will attend and leave your contact details when leaving a message.


What to do with your Garden Waste?

The good news is Lewisham council’s free weekend garden waste recycling is returning…

From 19 March until 27 November 2011, residents can dispose of their garden waste at four sites in different parts of the borough. The four locations, open to residents from 9am to 12noon on Saturdays and Sundays, are:

  • Riddons Road junction with Mayeswood Road, Grove Park
  • Girton Road Car Park, Sydenham
  • Kitto Road, outside Orange Café, Telegraph Hill
  • Laurence House Car Park, Catford

You can see athe four locations by visiting our recycling map (look out for the green trees) You can bring your garden waste in plastic or reusable bags. Flowers and plants, grass clippings, hedge trimmings, leaves, and twigs and branches up to four inches in diameter will all be accepted.

We cannot accept kitchen waste, vegetable peelings, soil, turf, stones or Japanese knotweed. No trade waste or trailers, vans or open back vehicles will be allowed.

The service is free, but residents should bring along proof of address and ID.

Alternitavely residents can buy garden waste sacks: Call CallPoint on 020 8314 7171 or collect them from your local library. The sacks come in rolls of 10 and cost £10 per roll (cash payments only). The charge covers the costs of collection and transporting the waste to a compost site. Once one or more bags are full, contact CallPoint to arrange a collection.

The best option however is to do your own composting, you can try composting your garden waste (and loose shredded paper) at home, using a free compost bin, email for more details.

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Lewisham’s recycling rate gets a mention

Yesterday Lewisham’s recycling rate was cited on the Guardian Environment Blog so I thought it would be appropriate to provide a response on our own blog (which was also mentioned). 

The first issue that needs raising is that the blog posting appears to favour incineration as a means of waste disposal, referencing Germany as an example of good practice. The blog then describes Lewisham’s recycling rate as miserable and poses the question “Do you actually like landfill tips, Lewisham?”. The latest comparable data (2008/9) shows that Lewisham has the 4th lowest rate of municipal waste sent to landfill in the country and an even lower rate for household waste at 3.72% (although this figure is now a couple of years old it is unlikely that it will have changed significantly). The majority of waste in Lewisham is incinerated, and that waste is turned into electricity which is in turn fed into the national grid. So the answer would be no we don’t like landfill tips. 

Secondly I would like to address the issue of our recycling rate of 16.8%, firstly this is a low recycling rate when compared to other Local Authorities nationally, however it is slightly unfair to be comparing the recycling rates in Lewisham with those in Staffordshire Moorlands (62%). The inner city demographics of Lewisham provide additional challenges in terms of sustainable waste management, including differing housing stocks, lack of and size of gardens and storage as well as a higher proportion of hard to engage groups with transient populations. 

It would perhaps be fairer to compare recycling rates in Lewisham with other London Local Authorities, where again at first sight Lewisham appears to be under performing. However if the figures are looked at in a bit more depth the situation is a more favourable. Looking at the first six months of 2009/10 data for dry recycling (excluding garden and food waste collection) shows that Lewisham is ranked the 7th best performer in terms of dry recycling collection at the kerbside across London.  

Why do we believe looking at the dry recycling rate is more relevant than the overall recycling rate? – In Lewisham we believe that our recycling collection (and therefore rate) should be viewed in the broader context of the impact on the environment and carbon reduction measures. The reason for many local authorities high recycling rates is the provision of food and garden waste collections, which by weight contribute significantly to the overall recycling rate (approximately 1/3 of your average household bin is organic waste – in Lewisham this is closer to 40%).  

We have previously laid out the reasons for not collecting food or garden waste on this blog, but it essentially boils down to the fact that it would be neither environmentally nor economically beneficial and would achieve nothing more than to artificially inflate our recycling rate. We prefer to encourage residents to reduce waste in the first instance and compost waste at home (especially food and garden waste) rather than give it to us to recycle/compost. We take the view this is a much more environmentally sound policy.Other local authorities who choose to provide food and garden waste collections and therefore boast much higher recycling/composting rates usually have very high overall waste per household figures, due to these collections. These authorities also have different drivers such as Landfill tax, so the monetary pressures heavily influence their decisions.  

In Lewisham we take sustainable waste management very seriously, we focus on waste minimisation as well as recycling by promoting the Love Food Hate Waste programme, Home Composting through composting workshops and offering free compost bins (last summer we ran 18 compost workshops and gave away 1,700 free compost bins), as well as running campaigns around real nappies, reusing shopping bags, not buying bottled water and stopping junk mail which all help in reducing waste in the waste stream. We believe the way in which we currently manage our waste is both responsible and sustainable.