Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

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LWARB Flats Recycling Project.

LWARB is an acronym for the London Waste and Recycling Board and an organisation that the London Borough of Lewisham applied to for some funding last year.

£33,300 was awarded to Lewisham Council to improve and update bins and signage on estates and flatted properties. It was also used to provide reusable bags for residents to help them carry their recyclables from their homes to the recycling sites on the estates and to fund teams of door knockers. This was also an opportunity for the Council to produce a brand new leaflet for all estates, new developments and blocks of flats to make residents aware of the new changes to the service.

One of the five sites on the Sydenham Hill estate with brand new bins and signs.

One of the five sites on the Sydenham Hill estate with brand new bins and signs.

The funding aimed to tackle the levels of participation in recycling from estates residents and increase tonnages across all flats in the borough. The role of the door knocking teams was to speak to the residents living on estates and flatted properties to explain about the Council’s recycling service and how they can participate in it. With the change of recycling contractor, this was seen as an opportunity to inform estates residents about the additional materials that can now go into the recycling bins, i.e. tetra-paks, textiles and mixed plastics.

Contamination of communal recycling bins is also a major issue on estates and causes problems with collections. When a recycling bin is contaminated, a refuse vehicle is sent to empty the entire contents of the bin (where it is incinerated) rather than risking rejection of further tonnages when the recycling vehicles tip at the materials recycling facility (MRF).

This is a second site on the Sydenham Hill estate that benefitted from having new bins and signs.

This is a second site on the Sydenham Hill estate that benefitted from having new bins and signs.

This was therefore an opportunity for the door knocking teams to speak directly to the residents of the estates and flatted properties to prevent any further problems. Black sacks, food, garden and electronic waste are seen as contaminants which the door knocking teams were able to discuss directly with the residents. All the residents were also left with a leaflet which gave details about what can and can’t be recycled using the large green bins on the estates. Some estates also benefitted from new signage which again made it perfectly clear what the bins were to be used for.

There are still reusable bags left for any residents that didn’t receive one during the door knocking last year. If you live on an estate, a block of flats or a private development and would like a reusable bag, please email and let us know your details.

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Estates recycling update

We’ve previously reported on the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) estates recycling programme . With the start of 2012, and the programme well underway and making good progress, it seemed the right time to give an update on the scheme so far.

 This Monday saw the environmental organisation Waste Watch come to the Wearside depot to spend a day with their team of experienced recycling advisors. The day was a chance to refresh the recycling advisors on the issues of health and safety when door knocking and also to learn all about the new estates recycling programme in Lewisham and the new materials that can now be recycled in the borough.  The recycling advisors will also be making a visit to the  Bywaters materials recycling facility this Monday to see what happens to all the materials as they get processed.  This will help them to explain to residents what happens to the materials after they are put in the recycling bin.

New sign and brand new bins on the Sydenham Hill estate

The role of the recycling advisors is to visit 30,000 properties on all estates, small blocks and new developments across the borough. They will be knocking on the doors of estates residents and talking to them about recycling in Lewisham, how you can now recycle beverage cartons, mixed plastics and even textiles.

 As well as the recycling advisors making door to door visits, 5 estates have also been given brand new bins and additional signage in a bid to improve the participation in recycling on those estates as well as to increase the tonnages. Increasing the tonnages will benefit the Council in two ways. Firstly, it will contribute to the overall recycling rate of the borough, but there is also the benefit of it raising an income for the Council. Under the new contract that the Council have with Bywaters, an income is generated for every tonne that is collected – a real incentive for all residents of the borough to recycle.

Another one of the 5 recycling sites on the Sydenham Hill estate

If you are a resident living on an estate, in a small block or new development, you might be receiving a knock on your door from one of the team of recycling advisors soon. If you do receive an estates recycling bag, please use this to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, cans, plastic bottles, mixed plastic, beverage cartons (Tetra Paks), textiles, aerosols and shredded paper.


Green Recycling Estates Bags For Flats

Earlier this year, the Council were successful in a bid to the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and secured funding to purchase 20,000 green recycling estates bags (GREB’s).

Green Recycling Estates Bag

 With the 10,000 GREBS that the Council bought earlier in the year, this means that there will be 30,000 bags available for the delivery to all large estates, small blocks and new developments across the borough.

 The 55 litre bags can be easily stored and folded away when not in use and be used over and over again. The bags will essentially be used for the collecting of clean dry recyclables such as paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, cans and plastic bottles. Once full, residents can use the bags to take their recyclables to their nearest recycling bin on their estate, block or development.

 As well as the new GREB’s, there will be some money available to put new bins on some estates and signage where necessary. The roll out of the bags will begin in January which ties in quite nicely with the new contract which the Council are starting on December 5th with Bywaters (Leyton) Ltd.

 Previously the Council were only able to collect paper, cardboard, glass bottles, jars, cans and plastic bottles. However, from December 5th, 2011 more materials will be able to be added including beverage cartons (Tetra Paks), mixed plastics (yoghurt pots and margarine tubs etc.) and textiles. More details about the new contract and materials will be coming up on this blog in due course.

 Housing organisations like Lewisham Homes, Phoenix, Pinnacle, Hyde Housing, London & Quadrant and Affinity Sutton have been contacted and are on board with the project and will help to spread the message to their tenants.

 Keep checking this blog for more announcements on the new materials that will be available for recycling.