Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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The Recycling Team attend the annual SELCHP Open Day

On Sunday 22nd September Lewisham’s Recycling Team took their recycling trailer to the SELCHP Energy from Waste Plant’s Open Day in New Cross. The team were there promoting the Recycling Service and spoke to over 120 people from all over London.

Dave and the Recycling Trailer in action.

Dave and the recycling trailer in action.

SELCHP is the destination for all of the refuse that is put into Lewisham’s black wheelie bins and 17 of our trucks visit there up to 3 times every day. It doesn’t just serve Lewisham, it is actually used by other local authorities and businesses from all over the South East and it can burn in excess of 420,000 tonnes of refuse every year. SELCHP has helped Lewisham have one of the lowest landfill rates in the country.

SELCHP stands for South East London Combined Heat and Power and it is more than just an incinerator. The heat produced in the process is used to create steam, which in turn creates electricity and powers approximately 48,000 homes every year.

Watch this short video about SELCHP

Now as great is it sounds, incineration isn’t perfect. When we incinerate things we lose them for ever (apart from some metals) and that means that we will never have that particular resource any more. Think of all of the paper, cardboard and plastic that has quite literally gone up in smoke!

So this is where the Recycling Team come in… If we can divert good quality recyclables away from the black bin and into the green one we will not only be doing our bit for the planet’s natural resources, but we will also be saving Lewisham Council a lot of money. Lewisham has to pay a fee for every tonne of waste that is deposited there, but we get to dispose of our recyclables for free at the Bywaters MRF in Bow.

So remember – only use your black bin for refuse and make sure to use your green bin for all of your good quality recyclables.


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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.


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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.