Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Swishers descend on Goldsmiths University for some clothes swapping

Friday the 13th might sound like a risky kind of day to hold an event. But despite being thrown a few unlucky curve balls at the last minute, we pulled through with flying colours, holding a really successful Swishing Event! In case you’re not sure what the swish is all about, it’s a fun social event where you bring your pre-loved clothes to swap them for someone else’s… for free!

All quite before the swishers move in

All quiet before the swishers move in

Lewisham Council, in its endeavour to raise awareness about the huge problem of textile waste, joined forces with Goldsmiths University students who brought a fantastic amount of energy into this campaign.

So, what is the problem?

In the UK, consumers throw away over a million tonnes of textiles every year. All of it could have been reused or recycled instead of going to waste. It’s the equivalent of throwing away £238 million every year. Crazy!  It’s just as crazy to learn that to manufacture one pair of jeans and a t-shirt takes about 20,000 litres of water.

Both students of Goldsmiths University and Lewisham residents came to swap their clothes. At times the change room had a queue as there was a frenzy of trying things on!

Both students of Goldsmiths University and Lewisham residents came to swap their clothes. At times the change room had a queue as there was a frenzy of trying things on!

Yet, there’s also thousands of ways to upcycle textiles, reuse them, swap them, or simply recycle them by putting them in a textile bank, click here for textile bank locations: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/textile-recycling/Pages/Textile-recycling-banks.aspx

This happy swisher had her eye on this shawl since the promotional events earlier in the week and was thrilled to be it's new owner at Friday's event. She was so happy, she came back later in the day for a second swish!

This happy swisher had her eye on this shawl since the promotional events earlier in the week and was thrilled to be it’s new owner at Friday’s event. She was so happy, she came back later in the day for a second swish!

Our swishing event, promoted through posters, information stalls and through social media was held in the Stretch Bar of Goldsmiths University. To the sound of groovy beats and strobe lighting, we had over 50 people come to the swishing event, or see what it was all about.

We took every opportunity to talk about what the event was all about and received great feedback about the concept and event, with 'When's the next one?' being the most asked question!

We took every opportunity to talk about what the event was all about and received great feedback about the concept and event, with ‘When’s the next one?’ being the most asked question!

A great time was had by all and many of the swishers walked away with armfuls of new-to-them clothes and big smiles!

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Free clothes anyone? You’re invited!

It’s crazy to think that 20,000 litres of water is needed to produce one pair of jeans and a t-shirt. And it’s just as crazy to think one million tonnes of textiles are thrown out by consumers every year. Swapping your clothes and accessories with friends is a fun and easy way to make sure your wardrobe looks fresh but also ensures that your pre-loved clothes are being loved again.

Come along and swish, its easy!

Come along and swish, its easy!

Lewisham Council has teamed up with MA students studying at the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University as well as Greening Goldsmiths to put on a party to celebrate the importance of textiles.

The Swishing Party invites you to come along with your pre-loved clothes and swap them for something from our range of clothing – free! Bring a friend!

Friday, 13th of March

11am – 3pm

The Stretch Bar

Goldsmiths University


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Love Food Hate Waste Campaign

Throughout the last five or so wintery months we’ve been cooking up storms to raise awareness of just how much food is wasted in the UK and what we can all do to help reduce it.

If you can visualise the Wembley Stadium and just how big it is, then you might start to visualise how big an issue food waste really is. Every year, UK residents throw away enough food to fill the Wembley Stadium about seven times. Seven times. That’s a lot.

Student's at Goldsmith's University learn new cooking skills.

Student’s at Goldsmith’s University learn new cooking skills.

When we received funding from Recycle for London, Lewisham Council set out to reach as many of its residents in a practical and fun way, teaching them simple every day steps in how to reduce food waste.

All in all we attended the Fresher’s Fayre event at GoldsmithsUniversity where we also held 9 of the 14 cooking classes that we put on. These cooking classes helped students gain more confidence with cooking, especially when using up left-over food and helped them understand how to store food so that it’d last many days longer. Other classes were held throughout the community too.

A hive of activity as everyone get's stuck into some serious cooking.

A hive of activity as the students get stuck into some serious cooking.

Here’s some feedback from the students…

“…it’s so easy to make pizza dough from scratch and so good for using up left over veg or anything…”

“…I learnt that there’s no need to peel vegetables, just wash them well and that you can use the outside leaves of cauliflower and even the stem!…”

“…I didn’t know there were so many uses for black bananas – and I learnt that my freezer is my friend!…”

We also held 3 public cooking demonstrations at Deptford and Brockley markets and at the Tesco Superstore in Lewisham where people passing by were able to taste some yummy dishes and get some great food saving tips. On top of all this we also attended several primary schools to present the idea of loving food and hating waste within their classes.

Tesco customers get a sample of free food and learn some LFHW cooking tips as well.

Tesco customers get a sample of free food and learn some LFHW cooking tips as well.

If you were one of the 700 people involved in either our classes, workshops, demonstrations and information stalls, THANK YOU for joining us and we hope we’ll see you next time as we had a great time doing running the campaign too!


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Freshers Fayre at Goldsmiths University

For the last couple of years, the recycling team at Lewisham Council have been running a stall at Goldsmith’s University Fresher’s Fayre so that they can speak to all the new students about the recycling services that we offer. Students that are new to the area probably won’t be aware of what can be recycled and how they go about it, so this is our opportunity to speak to them directly and give away as much information as possible.

Some of the designs of the bins

 Along with recycling information, we also speak to students about the Love Food Hate Waste campaign (LFHW). This is a good opportunity for students to pick up some tips on freezing food correctly, how to shop better, how to avoid wasting food and to take away some of easy to cook recipes which they may find useful in their first year away from home. We also point them in the direction of the very useful LFHW website http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com As well as the recipe cards that we give away, we also hand out practical things to help in the kitchen such as rice and spaghetti measures. These help to ensure that you only cook what you need and therefore aren’t wasting any food.

Lots of the bins were given a make over

Whilst at the Freshers Fayre this year, we were approached by a student Calum Hall at the university who wanted to bring our attention to the project he was involved in. This involved the decorating and personalising of bins within the university. In an email which he sent later after the freshers fayre, Calum said,

 ‘On Thursday 27th September “Pimp my Recycle Bin” transformed Goldsmiths square into a gallery for the work of budding artists. Teams of artists were asked by Red Bull to get as creative as possible with the University’s new recycling bins. The idea behind it was that their creativity will inspire others to recycle in future, by making the bins more vibrant and attractive to use. The project bought together creative’s from all courses to play their part in helping the environment. Keep an eye out for the bins dotted around campus’.’

 He also sent the above and below photos to show the sort of designs and decorations that other students had done to the bins.

The colours being used were very vibrant.


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Recycle Week in Lewisham 2012

June 18th – 24th was National Recycle Week  and was an opportunity for the Environment and Community Development (ECD) Team to promote recycling to the residents of the borough. Social media was used to send out endless tweets giving facts about plastic bottles (this years theme) as well as other facts to encourage people to recycle more or even start recycling for the first time.

Several different events took place by way of raising awareness of recycling generally, but also to keep putting the message out that the Council are now able to recycle more materials such as beverage cartons, shredded paper, textiles and mixed plastics on top of the usual paper, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and glass.

As part of the acivities, we took a group of pensioners from the Lewisham Pensioners Forum to the materials recycling facility (MRF) so that they were able to witness at first hand how all the various materials were separated and sorted using an efficient mechanised process that also includes a great deal of hand sorting.

As well as this, Council staff took out its recycling trailer twice during the week to the Lewisham shopping centre where a builders bag was used to collect ‘on the go’ recycling from the commuters and shoppers who were out and about in the high street.  As well as collecting cans and sandwich packs, there were also a lot of plastic bottles collected. This was also an opportunity to engage with our residents to promote the recycling of plastic bottles and to answer any queries they had about recycling and waste issues generally.

A resident visits us at our recycling trailer

Some of the items collected in the builders bag from shoppers and commuters.

Whilst these activities were taking place, we had also been in touch with an art organisation called Platform-7 to organise another event that we wanted to take place during Recycle Week. The event was called Deluge (see story further down) which took place at the old Blockbusters store in Rushey Green, Catford. The focus here was on the ‘politics of the videocassette, obsolescence and recycling. ‘ Academics from Goldsmiths University gave mini lectures on obsolescence and packaging. Paul Halliday, a lecturer from Goldsmiths was exhibiting his art installation at the Blockbusters store. This was a large spooled out mass of video tape from around 600 old video tapes that were collected as part of the project. Whilst Platform-7 were using the disused shop (courtesy of Lewisham Council), they were encouraging residents to still use it as a drop off point for all their unwanted videos which people were more than happy to do. Just like the old days. Looking at the  the mass of spooled out tape was like staring at an advancing oil slick in the large open space of the Blockbuster store.

The spooled out tape from 600 video tapes. More were collected and will be recycled.

The Council also called upon the services of WEEE Man who turned up to promote the collecting of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) . As well as using Blockbusters for collecting video tapes, it was also being used as a drop off point  for old electrical waste and several items of WEEE were collected as part of this.

WEEE Man deep in video tape at Deluge

The spooling mass of tape could be seen 24 hours a day through the window with the night lights and assisting fans giving the installation a different look in the dark evening.

The drop off point for video tapes. WEEE Man drops off his old Terminator films.

All tapes, items of WEEE, the recyclables collected in the builders bag in the high street will all be recycled at the end of Recycle Week.


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Freshers Love Food and Hate Waste

 

The Environment and Community Development (ECD) Team recently visited Goldsmiths University to promote the Love Food Hate Waste campaign at the Freshers Fayre.

The event was over two days and was held in a large marquee just off Laurie Grove where hundreds of new students were in attendance. The ECD team occupied a table amongst the many clubs and societies and spoke to well over 400 students.

 Communicating the Love Food Hate Waste message at the freshers fayre was a great promotional opportunity for the Council and also a great opportunity for the students to learn more about how to prolong the life of food and shop wisely right at the beginning of their time at university.

 Amongst some of the hints and tips being given to the new students were things like extending the life of lettuce by washing and draining it, wrapping it in paper towel and then storing it in a plastic bag in the fridge. This will extend the life of a lettuce for an extra to 4 to 5 days. We also told them that if eggs were at their use by date and they were going away, then why not crack them into an airtight container and freeze them until they return and use them for scrambled eggs or in a recipe.

 Lots of recipes were also given away that gave suggestions on what to do with leftovers from meals as well as spaghetti measurers and measuring spoons so that people would use the exact ingredients when cooking. This way they wouldn’t need to make extra trips to the shops for more ingredients and spend more of their budget when they didn’t need to.

 All the giveaways and tips were well received by the students who could see the real value in shopping sensibly and planning meals in advance as well as making greater use of the freezer to ensure that food lasted much longer.

 One key tip that we gave out to the students was to visit the following website http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ as this is a valuable resource for saving money and time, finding out information on storing food correctly as well as being packed with lots of easy and simple recipes for nutritious dishes.