Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

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Green Police out in force again at People’s Day 2013

The 2013 People’s Day saw Lewisham’s recycling team out in force again as Green Police – serving and protecting the environment.

PC Brinson and PC Swift out on patrol at People's Day

PC Brinson and PC Swift out on patrol at People’s Day

This year we were fighting the environmental battle on three fronts. On one stand we were tackling recycling and waste management issues, on another we were running composting workshops, whilst on a third stand, we worked in partnership with Love Food Hate Waste to run cooking demo’s and advise people how to get the most out of buying, cooking and storing food.  Also helping that day was Ed Van Reenen from Bywaters where all of the boroughs recycling is processed.

The Green Police Recycling Team with Monica and her daughter Lilian from Love Food Hate Waste.

The Green Police Recycling Team with Monica and her daughter Lilian from Love Food Hate Waste and Ed from Bywaters.

With so many people visiting us, we took the opportunity to speak to them about the new Service Standards that are now coming in to force which some people were still unaware of. The Service Standards are being rolled out borough-wide and are designed to standardise both the refuse and recycling service. Under the Standards, residents will have to bring their refuse and recycling bins to the inside boundary of their property. As people are now reducing their waste considerably these days, our crews will assume that if the bin isn’t at the boundary of the property, then the resident is either on holiday or doesn’t want a collection that week.

As well as all of the above, the recycling team were raffling off some environmentally friendly products to lucky winners. The prizes were either a wireless meter reader that tells you how much electricity you are using, a device for turning all your gadgets and electrical devices off from standby or a wind up radio and torch.

A lucky winner receives an energy monitor from PC Parkinson.

A lucky winner receives an energy monitor from one of our green police officers

Regular draws were made throughout the afternoon and many people went home very happy with a prize that will help them reduce their electricity bills or save them buying batteries for their radio.

Even in the searing heat, the Green Police still managed to talk to lots of residents and many cooking demonstrations also took place. Overall a very productive day for the team with no arrests being made for people recycling the wrong things.

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Recycle Week 2013

This week is National Recycle Week 2013 and the recycling team at Lewisham Council have been out and about in the borough promoting recycling and composting to residents.

Dave Brinson talks to one of the many shoppers that came to visit us throughout the day.

Dave Brinson talks to one of the many shoppers that came to visit us throughout the day.

On Wednesday 19th the team went to the shopping centre in Lewisham where we had a small stand and throughout the day spoke to many residents and shoppers giving advice and information on all manner of environmental issues. Many people just wanted advice and reassurance about what to recycle. Others were asking about the new Service Standards that we are currently introdcing.

We also took requests for compost bins, recycling bins and gave out bin stickers, leaflets and spaghetti measures and freezing clips to encourage more people to Love Food Hate Waste.

Visit us at our newly refurbished trailer on Friday 21st June.

Visit us at our newly refurbished trailer on Friday 21st June.

On Friday 21st, the team are heading to Sainsbury’s in New Cross Gate where we are taking our newly refurbished trailer and will again be talking to shoppers and residents and giving information as well as a few freebies to those that come and visit us.


A rubbish diet that we can guarantee will work!

With Summer on its way, many of us consider going on a diet, shedding a few pounds to feel healthier or to try and fit into last years swim suit. This year, Lewisham’s recycling team thought it might be an idea to try out a diet with a difference. We have set a challenge to Deptford based childminder, Charlotte Kelly- Skinner, to try out a ‘rubbish diet’- on her wheelie bin!

Over the next eight weeks, Charlotte will see if she can reduce the amount of rubbish she places into her grey domestic refuse bin. Inspired by colleagues in St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk, where a number of residents have been starving their rubbish bins and helping decrease the overall amount the council sends to landfill (in Lewisham’s case, incineration).

Charlotte Kelly- Skinner, Deptford based childminder pictured with Kate Parkinson from Lewisham's Recycling team.

Charlotte Kelly- Skinner (right), Deptford based childminder being ably assisted by one of Lewisham Council’s Waste Prevention Officers 

So what does a ‘rubbish diet’ entail? Well, really very little effort is needed. Unlike other diets, you won’t have to change your eating habits. Just look at our top five tips listed below and if you start trying these out, you too can join in and slim down your bin so its in tip top shape for summer!

Top five tips to slim your bin

  • If you have an outside space, get yourself a compost bin and start composting! You can place your uncooked food waste in these as well as garden clippings, paper waste etc. Lewisham Council provides one free compost bin to each household so go on line for all information about compost bins at or contact our call centre on 020 8314 7171 to get your hands on one
  • Shop with waste in mind– Start to plan meals, making a list of the ingredients needed and stick to this when shopping. Always take your own bag and try and buy fruit and vegetables which are unpackaged.
  • Think about your food waste– Try not to cook more than you need by measuring quantities before cooking. If you do have leftovers, cool, cover and save them in the fridge or freezer. See for more info.
  • Ditch the disposable– Could you do without buying cling film and silver foil? If you use disposable nappies for your little ones, consider cloth nappies even if you just buy a reusable nappy for trips to the swimming pool, this will help to reduce the waste you produce.
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle- if you have done all of the above, most things left over can go into the recycling bin. For a full list of the things which can be recycled in Lewisham, please visit:

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New app from Love Food Hate Waste helps consumers save £££’s while on the move

Help is at hand for anyone who wants to keep track of their budgets by food planning, shopping, making the most of left-overs and recipes while ‘on the go’, thanks to a newly-updated app from Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW).

Launched today (Wednesday, April 24th) and available for both iPhone and Android devices, the app enables users to organise a wide range of information and features, and tailor this to their own, individual requirements.

2.LFHW appThe free app offers a host of features including:

  • ‘My kitchen’ – store details of all the foods you’ve got at home in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. Add ‘use by’ reminders so you don’t waste food
  • Portion planner and a meal planning diary
  • 100s of great recipes (with new ones regularly added) with simple, step-by-step instructions
  • A feast of helpful tips and ideas from LFHW
  • Keep a record of your own creations by adding your recipes to a ‘My cookbook’ section
  • Rate and share recipes
  • Portion planner and a meal planner diary
  • ‘Shopping list’ not only tracks everything you need for your planned meals, but also alerts you if you have duplicates of any ingredients.  Instantly ‘unpack’ your food purchases into your virtual kitchen

3.LFHW app

The updated app also offers a ‘My profile’ area where users can record what they’ve cooked, culinary ‘achievements’, and, the chance to opt for connecting via Facebook or Twitter with friends and family who also use the app.

“This all-new app, which is free to download and use, builds on the knowledge and expertise LFHW has gained over the years,” said LFHW’s Emma Marsh.

“In the UK, we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food every year, much of which could have been eaten. This good food and drink costs us around £12bn a year, and the average household could save up to £50 a month by making the most of the food they buy.

“Wasting less food is not only good for our pockets, but it’s also good for the environment, helping to save energy and water, and reducing our carbon footprint,” she added. “By making all this information available via the new free app, we want to make it even easier for people to get the most from the food they buy.”

1. LFHW app

Smartphone users can download the app from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store.

To download the iphone version:

To download the android version:


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!


Let’s stay together, to keep our food fresher for longer

Storing our food in its packaging can help keep it fresher for up to two weeks longer* and save the average family upto £270** a year. But new research released today, from Love Food Hate Waste shows that only 13% of us realise that packaging can play an important role in protecting food in our homes.

Not surprisingly the research found that after price, freshness and how long food lasts for are the most important factors for us when we go shopping. We all want to make sure our food is at its best for longer so that we don’t have to throw it, and our money, in the bin.

Fresher for Longer

Fresher for Longer

In fact there’s a great opportunity for us all to save money every week. Even though the majority of us, 61% in fact, are mistakenly thinking fruit and vegetables will sweat and go off quicker if they’re left in the pack. The evidence shows that if we keep our food in its packaging and store it according to the label when we get it home, we would have more time to eat it, reducing the 4.4 million tonnes of good food and drink wasted each year.

To help us waste less and save more, Love Food Hate Waste has launched ‘Fresher for Longer’ the perfect way to help us not waste food. With images of pears asking to hold onto their pack ‘till lunch do us part’ and cheese pledging  ‘you make my shelf life complete’ the theme shows how packaging can not only protect our food from damage on its way to the shops, but keep it fresher for longer in our homes.

Packaging can also help food last much longer.

Packaging can also help food last much longer.

Fresher for longer’ is being officially launched today in conjunction with Marks & Spencer as part of its Plan A commitment to help customers live more sustainably. Over the years M&S has introduced a number of packaging innovations to help us waste less, such as vacuum ‘skin’ packs on fish and meats and the ‘It’s Fresh’ tab in strawberry punnets, to maintain the quality and freshness of its food for days longer. Today M&S has also launched a new online interactive ‘Fresher for Longer’ tool, on its Plan A website for customers to find the best way to store their food.

To save money, the best solution is to buy food we want to store for longer than a day or two, with the appropriate packaging; for example even fruit and vegetables bought loose can last longer if stored properly in a bag that is lightly tied in the fridge. Packaging innovation means many manufactures and supermarkets now use breathable fruit and veg bags, have more re-closable  packs and many more clever features, all designed to make food last longer and save us as consumers money.

Love Food Hate Waste’s Emma Marsh said: “Saving money is always at the top of people’s wish list and wasting less food achieves this. By taking advantage of new packaging innovations, getting to know the packs our food now comes in and discovering the best way our food wants to be stored, for example at, we can reduce the amount we throw away which will have huge environmental benefits as well as saving us money. So when I get my food home, I keep it in its original packaging and check out the instructions on pack to keep my food fresher for longer.”


This new research, Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging, delivered in partnership with INCPEN, The Packaging Federation, The Food and Drink Federation, Kent Waste Partnership and The British Retail Consortium, has been published today by WRAP.

Industry partners said: “Food waste is a global issue. We all have a role to play in reducing it; manufacturers, retailers and consumers, and there are many ways of doing it. Keeping food in its specifically designed packaging, and following the dates and storage guidance that appears on the pack is a great start. We have made significant progress in this area, but there is still more that we can do to help reduce food waste, reduce the environmental impact and ultimately save consumers money”.

*Helping consumers reduce fruit and vegetable waste September 2008 By keeping fruit and vegetables in their original packaging in the fridge they will keep up to two weeks longer.

** £270 per family (the value of good food and drink that’s thrown away because it’s “not used in time”).


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Free cooking workshop

Though the wintry wind and rain continues, our spirits aren’t dampened because we’ve been cooking up a storm! Lewisham Council is currently hosting free cooking classes that have a Love Food Hate Waste theme, teaching people how to be imaginative with food that needs using up and reducing food waste. We’re hosting 8 classes for Goldsmiths University especially tailored for students who are eating up these classes like hot cakes! We’ve also arranged classes in several primary schools and have one open to the public – see below!

Do you want to feel more confident with cooking, use up left overs without the need for a recipe, make cooking easier, reduce the amount of food you throw away and save on your food bills and time?

Students learn how to make pastry which can be made into a quiche or a pie.

Students learn how to make pastry which can be made into a quiche or a pie.

Lewisham Council are hosting a professional cook to hold a FREE cooking workshop for Lewisham Residents at the Downham Library. The class is a once off 2 hour session.

This class is for anyone who buys and prepares their own or family’s food and feels they could

  • Be more confident with their cooking skills
  • Save money by storing food correctly, and knowing what to do with it
  • Use up left over’s in an imaginative easy way
  • Spend less time on cooking or wondering what to cook
  • Reduce food waste, help the environment and help your pocket
These are some of the things that you can learn to make at the cooking classes.

These are some of the things that you can learn to make at the cooking classes.

Monica is a fabulous professional cook/trainer who has very successfully held classes in many venues all over the UK and enthusiastically teaches how easy it is to reduce food waste, make simple meals from left-overs, how to store foods you’ve made too much of and how to keep fruit and veg last up to 10 days longer than what most people have been able to manage, ultimately saving money, time and food waste.


Downham Health & Leisure Centre, Hall, Ground Floor
7–9 Moorside Road, Downham, BR1 5EP


Thursday, 14 February 2013 from 10:00 to 12:00 (GMT)

Booking is essential. To book, click on the link below! Hurry, limited space available. Sorry, only residents of the London Borough of Lewisham may apply.