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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Lewisham shoppers bag a bargain at a ‘Big Swish’

Last Friday, the middle of Lewisham Shopping Centre was transformed into a vintage shoppers delight when the Lewisham Recycling team held a ‘Big Swish’ to raise awareness of the new textiles banks across the borough.

Big Swish 1

The middle of the shopping centre was given a ‘vintage makeover’

The term swishing refers to swopping of items, often clothes, where someone swops a garment that they no longer want with someone else’s unwanted item.

The swishing began at 10am and luckily even early visitors had a plentiful supply of quality clothes to choose from.

Big Swish 9

Bagging a bargain!

Much of the stock already on display was sourced from Lewisham’s new LMB textile banks. The quality of items on offer was very impressive, with clothing ranging from vintage garments, high street brands and designer labels.

The event was very well attended and a total of just over 80 garments were ‘swished’.  Lewisham East Member of Parliament – Heidi Alexander, also came along to show her support for textile reuse and brought along a number of ‘swishable items’.

Big Swish 6

Heidi Alexander MP at the Big Swish

Please bear in mind that textiles can still be placed into your recycling bin, but if placed in our textile banks there is a better chance of the item being reused rather than recycled. Remember – Reuse is always better than recycling!  And if you can’t get to a textile bank then there is always the option of using your local charity shop.

Details of where Lewisham textile bins are located can be found here:

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A bit of London Fashion Week comes to Lewisham

Once the media have finished clambering for stories associated with London Fashion week, they’ll turning their attention to the next big event in the fashion calendar. That will be the Big Swish Event that will be taking place in Lewisham Shopping Centre a week later.

Already the event is generating a great deal of interest and momentum with lots of people contacting the recycling team to ask about when it all starts and what kind of clothes to bring along to swish with. Several bags of quality clothing have already been collected and this week, so Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services came to our offices to give us a hand in sorting some of them out.

Councillor Susan Wise helps with sorting clothes for the swishing event.

Councillor Susan Wise helps with sorting clothes for the swishing event.

On the day of the event, we are planning on having a selection of children’s, men’s and women’s clothing to swish with. Anybody can take part in the event, you simply need to turn up with an item of clothing that you no longer want or need or that’s been sitting in the wardrobe for some time. Just bring this along and then simply choose another item as a replacement – and voilà! you have swished. Couldn’t be easier

The event is being staged to raise the profile of textile recycling, and whilst we collect textiles in the recycling bins, we would prefer residents to use our textile banks where there would a better chance of keeping the quality of the item intact. Residents can also choose to take textiles to charity shops if they wish.

The event will be taking place at the site of the old Ponti’s restaurant in the shopping centre between 10am and 4pm on the 27th September. 10 other local authorities have also been invited as they were part of the huge tendering exercise that Lewisham Council led on that saw all the authorities getting a much better price for all the textiles collected. Heidi Alexander MP will also be lending her support to the event and will be popping in around 12.30pm. Details of where all our banks are located can be found below.

Find a bank near you and drop off your textiles.

Find a bank near you and drop off your textiles.

Please come along with clothes that you would like to swish with and enjoy the fun day out.