Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

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Textile Flash Mob Hits Lewisham Shopping Centre

In the UK, we throw away over a million tonnes of textiles every year. All of it could have been reused or recycled instead of going to waste. Lewisham Council and Goldsmiths University students joined forces to raise awareness of this issue, and as part of the campaign, came up with the crazy idea of performing a flash mob while creating an art instalment at the Lewisham Shopping Centre, which took place on the 14th of March 2015.

The students, coming from a range of backgrounds had no experience in performance or flash mobs but managed to catch the eye of over 200 onlookers and after each performance talked with residents about how they can upcycle, reuse or recycle textiles.

The flab mob start their routine as curious shoppers try to work out what is going on

The flab mob start their routine as curious shoppers try to work out what is going on

Once the flash mob completed their routine, shoppers had the opportunity to find out what was going on and approached the Goldsmith’s students.

We're asking residents to use clothing banks and charity shops to recycle all their textiles instead of their green bins

We’re asking residents to use clothing banks and charity shops to recycle all their textiles instead of their green bins

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We take the MetalMatters Campaign directly to the shoppers

On Friday 14th March, members of the Council’s recycling team launched it’s MetalMatters campaign at the shopping centre in Lewisham. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling tins, cans, aerosols and foil and increase the tonnages collected in the borough.

Lewisham Council have received funding from MetalMatters and also from the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to conduct a campaign right across the borough. For the launch, we joined up with Myatt Garden Primary School who came along to the shopping centre to create an original piece of artwork using tins, cans, foil and bottles tops.

Myatt Garden Primary Schools made a good start on the art work will will go to other schools in Lewisham.

Myatt Garden Primary School made a good start on the art work which will go to other schools in Lewisham.

Their canvass for this event was a huge framed steel sheet which with the aid of magnets was used to place bottle tops and recycled cans to form images and words. 10 children spent 4 hours in the main square of the shopping centre preparing bits of metal, magnetic strips, cuttings and placing them onto the steel sheet.

Their infectious enthusiasm led many passing shoppers to stop and enquire what the activity was all about. This gave the recycling team the perfect opportunity to engage with the shoppers and to explain the importance of recycling tins and cans and let them know how much metal really matters.

Children from Myatt Garden Primary School, teachers, representatives from the MetalMatters campaign and WRAP and special guest the Tin Man.

Children from Myatt Garden Primary School, teachers, representatives from the MetalMatters campaign and WRAP and special guest the Tin Man.

This was also an opportunity to ask all those residents to recycle all their paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, beverage cartons, mixed plastics and plastic bottles including their tops.

The event was a huge success with all the school children having a great day out and making their own personal contribution to public art. The artwork will go on to visit more schools in the borough and may eventually appear in the National Gallery.

Shoppers also had a chance to meet our mystery guest the Tin Man who really was in a position to say how much metal really does matter. Lots of shoppers stopped to pose for photos with him and he was more than happy to pose with all the school children in group shots.

For the next couple of months residents will continue to see the campaign on the side of our recycling and refuse vehicles and will also be receiving a second leaflet through the post reminding them of the importance of recycling tins, cans, aerosols and foil.

Don't forget to recycle all your tins, cans, aerosols and foil and make your metal matter.

Don’t forget to recycle all your tins, cans, aerosols and foil and make your metal matter.

One thing we would also ask everyone to do and that is to give your food cans a quick rinse before depositing them into your recycling bin. This will increase their value and stop your bin from smelling. For more information on what you can recycle or if you want to order a recycling bins, please click on the following link:

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Can we do it? Yes we Can

Lewisham’s Metal Matters campaign has been running for a couple of weeks now and many of you may already have seen this in one form or another. Perhaps you have seen the trucks carrying the huge banners highlighting the importance of recycling tins and cans for example or have seen the JC Decaux signs carrying the posters all across Lewisham. The Council’s official website has also been displaying a huge banner ad with a link connecting you to our recycling page.

JC Decaux signs as seen all across the borough

JC Decaux signs as seen all across the borough

The metal packaging manufacturing industry, recyclers and fillers have teamed up with Lewisham Council to launch the ‘make your metals matter’ recycling campaign, to raise awareness of the importance of metal packaging recycling and to increase the amount collected from households. The campaign is being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging and Recycle for London.

To raise awareness further, we are going to have a launch event in the Lewisham Shopping on Friday 14th March between 10am – 2pm.

The event will be our opportunity to engage with Lewisham shoppers and encourage them further to recycle all their tins and cans including aerosols and foil. Also at the event will be children from Myatt Garden Primary School who will be taking part in an art project to create a unique piece of artwork from tins, cans, bottle tops and ring pulls. The construction of the art project will be taking place in the shopping centre itself and council staff will also be there asking shoppers to join in should they wish.

It is hoped that once the artwork is completed, it will go on to be displayed in the National Gallery. As well as all this activity, we will also be inviting a special guest that will be handing leaflets and talking to shoppers about his own experiences of how much metal matters to him.

If you are going to be in the shopping centre on March 14th between 10am and 2pm, why not pop over to the Metal Matters stand and say hello and find out how you can play your part in increasing the amount of tins, cans, aerosols and foil that can be recycled.

Further information about the recycling of tins, cans, paper, cardboard, mixed plastics, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, beverage cartons can be found on the following link:

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Launch for textile recycling in Lewisham

The Lewisham Council led, pan London textile procurement process finally came to a finish recently with the award of the contract going to LM Barry (LMB), a textile recycling company that are based in east London.

Potentially, 11 London local authorities could benefit from this innovative procurement process. A process that took many months and an equal amount of meetings to put together.  The new contract which Lewisham has entered into with LMB  means that the Council will receive a greater level of income for all the textiles that are deposited in the brand new banks. Many residents may have already seen the dark blue textile banks popping up at existing bring sites around the borough to replace the old green ones.

Bring along an item of clothing and exchange for something - that's swishing.

Bring along an item of clothing and exchange for something else – that’s swishing.

To launch the service and publicise it further, the Council are staging an event to highlight the kinds of textiles that we want residents to put into the banks. This will also be an opportunity for residents to see the sort of  items that are reused and recycled every day through the textile bank collection service.  The event, which is being held at Lewisham Shopping Centre is known as a ‘swishing’ event.

Swishing has grown in popularity in recent months with many people staging events in their homes amongst friends and family.  Swishing involves people bringing along a suitable item of quality clothing to the event and then take something home of equal quality that they like. Full details of this event can be found on the poster above. Staff from Lewisham Council will be on hand to answer any questions and queries about the new service as well as help out with the categorizing of the clothes and ensuring people find something they like which they can take home and use again.

Find a bank near you and drop off your textiles.

Find a bank near you and drop off your textiles.

Please use this opportunity to bring something that you have forgotten about or no longer wear and wish to exchange for something different that you will appreciate and wear more than the item you brought.

The event will run from 10am to 4pm on Friday 27th September 2013 at the site of the old Ponti’s restaurant in the middle of Lewisham Shopping Centre.  Everyone welcome.

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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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Cardboard Recycling at Lewisham Shopping Centre

Lewisham Council are involved in a partnership with Lewisham Shopping Centre to recycle the waste cardboard that is generated by the market. This has recently been extended to cover the whole market. Staff from the Markets Unit along with staff from the cleansing department are working hard to make the initiative a success and are grateful to the shopping centre for their continued support.