Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

1 Comment

Low Energy Light Bulb Recycling

We’re working in partnership with the Community Battery Recycling Alliance or (CoBRA) to get as many light bulb recycling points throughout the borough as possible. The scheme relies on volunteers to find suitable venues (such as community halls) in their locality, they then sign up to the CoBRA scheme and get all of the appropriate information and equipment sent to them.

Help us to recycle your old energy saving lightbulbs

Currently our Council officers are  acting as a volunteers for Lewisham and Catford libraries, where you’ll be able to find the “bulbstore mini’s” in the entrances areas. You can also find bigger banks at Sainsburys in Sydenham and New Cross.

So why should I recycle low energy light bulbs?

Energy efficient bulbs save energy, carbon and money but it is essential that people recycle them when they reach the end of their life. This initiative will enable people to take responsibility for light bulb recycling in their community and make the facilities much more widely available for householders to do so.


Why can’t the council provide this as a doorstep collection service?
Collecting light bulbs from the kerbside is tricky and can lead to a lot of damaged bulbs, as well as the issues associated with storing them on a refuse or recycling truck without them being damaged. In addition to this the council does not currently have sufficient resources to collect from multiple points around the borough on request. Utilising a network of volunteers has proved successful in other parts of the country and we believe that it can work here to.

What would being a volunteer involve?

  • Finding a suitable point for your “bulbstore mini” – this should be a place with a large amount of visitors such as a local shop, community centre or church (be sure to get the owners permission).
  • Visit the CoBRA website, watch the video, sign up and wait for all of the equipment and information to be sent to you in the post.
  • All you need to do then is put the “bulbstore mini” in its location, once its full you will need to take it to your nearest bulking point (in Lewisham this will probably be Wearside Road) and drop it off.

Where can I find my nearest recycling point?
Your nearest recycling point and bulking up point can be found online at the Recolight website or on Lewisham’s recycling map.

Leave a comment

What happens to everything that goes into your recycling bin?

We do get a lot of enquiries about what happens to everything that goes into the recycling bins in Lewisham. Whilst we take great efforts to explain what happens to all the materials that go into the recycling bins, there are some people that aren’t convinced that a mechanised process can deal with sifting and sorting all of the different materials.

Of course its not an entirely mechanised process and there are whole lines of people who hand sort much of the materials as it first enters the materials recycling facility, also known as a MRF (pronounced merf).

We do organise tours around the MRF so that people can see all the processes first hand and we also direct people to our contractor Bywaters website where there is a video showing what happens to all the materials once they are tipped out of the recycling vehicles. Not everyone will do these things however so we thought we should put the video of the processes involved on our blog to make it a little more accessible.

Below is what happens to the contents of your recycling bin once it has been emptied.


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.

Leave a comment

Act locally to help globally!

Sunday 2nd October was a very different kind of Sunday for David Brinson, a member of Lewisham Council’s Recycling Team. He would usually spend the morning at home with his wife, instead he spent it at St John with Holy Trinity Church in St. John’s Vale, SE8.

He was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be a part of Rev Christine Bainbridge’s Creation Sunday Service. Rev. Christine spoke about how people can make small changes in their life that can have not only a positive impact on themselves, but also in the world as a whole. David was able to offer the practical solutions people could make to really make that difference. The service had a really positive feel about it and the congregants all made David feel very welcome.

Lewisham’s recycling team have been making appearances at Local Ward Assemblies, resident and tenants groups and school assemblies for the past 18 months. Their recycling presentations are always well received by residents and they always spark a lot of interesting debate. Email the Recycling Team at if you would like the Recycling Team to come and speak at one of your events or meetings.

Who would of thought that rubbish could be so interesting?

Leave a comment

WEEE Man trims down WEEE waste during WEEE Week

WEEE Week ran from September 24th through to October 1st, 2011. In the build up to this event, Lewisham Council called upon the services of its new superhero WEEE Man, who came along to raise awareness and the profile of this type of waste.

 The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) was introduced into UK law in January 2007 by the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006. It aims is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it.

 With the help of WEEE Man, Lewisham Council set about taking the message of recycling WEEE waste to the people of Lewisham. A couple of weeks before WEEE Week started, several schools were visited where a presentation was given to the assemblies about the issues surrounding electronic waste and how this could be recycled. The presentation informed the children about what WEEE waste was, and why it was important to recycle and dispose of this waste in the best way possible. This also included reusing any working items of electronic waste whenever possible.

 The children were then shown this short film featuring WEEE Man 

which they enjoyed very much before the actual man himself appeared to the very excited assemblies. He wandered amongst the excited children before making his exit and leaving behind flyers which the children were instructed to take home to their parents. The flyers carried all the information about the WEEE waste collections that were taking place at 6 schools. The schools that took place were Kelvin Grove, Sydenham, Forster Park, Catford, Ladywell Fields College, Ladywell, All Saints School, Blackheath, Sir Francis Drake, Deptford and Edmund Waller, New Cross. Two consecutive Saturday collections also took place at Dacres Road Nature Reserve.

 The collections saw lots of items being brought, from obsolete video recorders, defunct irons, hairdryers, and microwave ovens, through to redundant printers, scanners, old telephones, faxes, radios, stereos and even a hedge trimmer (see photo above). During the collection week, WEEE Man even decided to put in an appearance and was mobbed by children seeking autographs (see photo below).

 Two caged vehicles worth of WEEE waste was collected during the seven days that the collections ran for and a total of 1880kg of WEEE waste was collected. That’s nearly 2 tonnes!

 For those people that didn’t manage to drop off their old and unwanted items of WEEE waste, don’t forget that we still have 6 small appliance banks around the borough that can be used at any time. If you have items that are too big and not suitable for the small appliance banks, you can always take them to the Reuse and Recycle Centre at Landmann Way.

 Thank you to everyone that came along with your old toasters, kettles and radios etc and for making this event the success that it was. WEEE Man also called on the WEEE phone to say a big thank you to all the schools and the children for all their help and support. He will be more than happy to make return visits to schools and visit other schools in the future.

Leave a comment

WEEE Man is here to save the World!

WEEE Week – 26th September to 1st October 2011

For those that have been following us on Twitter and have seen our recent forays into the world of acting, film and promotional work, you should know all about the acronym WEEE. Below is a groundbreaking film about our very own WEEE superhero … WEEE Man.

For those not entirely familiar with the jargon of the waste industry, WEEE actually stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or put simply, that broken toaster, radio, lamp, kettle or hoover that’s been stuck at the back of your cupboard or in your garage for the last few months that you’ve been meaning to get rid of.

The Council are staging a week of WEEE collections during what we are calling, WEEE Week. This will be your opportunity to empty your cupboards of that unwanted electrical waste, those duplicate remote controls, hairdryers, food mixers, sandwich toasters, and redundant juicing machines.

However, if you have items that are in perfect working order, why not see if someone would like it on Freecycle, or give it to a friend, neighbour or even a charity shop. Though if it is broken, then why not give it to us?

During WEEE Week, a collection vehicle with be at one of the locations below between 8.30am and 12pm to collect your old and unwanted small electrical appliances. (1pm to 4pm at Sir Francis Drake and 1am to 3pm at Dacres Road).

Please bring your old hoovers, radios, stereos, toasters, hairdryers, irons, microwaves, kettles, mobile phones, games consoles, computers and laptops to us for safe disposal.

Please note: No TV’s, fridges or fluorescent tubes are allowed as these are considered hazardous waste which we cannot accept.

Monday 26th: Kelvin Grove School, Kirkdale, SE26 6BB, 8.30am – 12pm

Tuesday 27th: Forster Park, Boundfield Road, SE6 1PQ, 8.30am – 12pm

Wednesday 28th: Ladywell Fields College, Manwood Road, SE4 1SA, 8.30am – 12pm

Thursday 29th: All Saints Schools, Blackheath Vale, SE3 OTX, 8.30am – 12pm AND Sir Francis Drake School, Scawen Road, SE8 5AE, 1pm to 4pm.

Friday 30th: Edmund Waller, Waller Road, SE15 5LY, 8.30am – 12pm

Saturday 1st October: Dacres Wood Nature Reserve, Dacres Road, Forest Hill, 11am – 3pm

Leave a comment

Recycle Week – Textile Recycling

Following a succesful trial in Brockley and Telegraph Hill wards, you can now recycle textiles from your doorstep wherever you live in Lewisham.

The process is extremely easy, but it is a bookable service – so please don’t leave piles of clothes outside your house!

Here’s what you need to do …

1. Pick up a textiles recycling leaflet – you can get one from your local library, or download and print one from here.

2. Call 020 8314 7171 to arrange a collection date

3. Put your clean textiles into a bag and attach this leaflet to the bag, make sure each bag has its own leaflet.

4. Leave your bag outside your front door on the agreed collection date.

So what can we accept?:

Clean dry clothing, pairs of shoes or boots, belts, hats, bags, handbags, towels, bed linen, curtains, fabric.
If you are unsure of what you want to dispose of, ask when you call to book your collection.

What don’t we want?

Dirty, soiled or wet clothing, carpet, duvets, sleeping bags, pillows and cushions.

We’re running this collection service in partnership with Chris Carey’s Collections (CCC), a local family run textile business who generate over £100,000 a month for various charities by working in partnership with them. Virtually everything CCC collect is either re-used in the UK or in the developing world. Anything that is unable to be used is recycled into roof and wall insulation.

If you have any comments or issues regarding the service please let us know.