Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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New locks coming to a recycling bin near you!

If you take your recycling to large communal bins, over the next few months, you may notice new, more secure locks appearing on the recycling bins that you use.

Locks on bins

Why do we need locks on recycling bins?

Most residents are very careful to ensure that the right things go into the right bins. Unfortunately though, some bins still do get items put into them that can’t be recycled in Lewisham- black bin bags being one of the biggest culprits!

The new locks will prevent the whole lid from being opened, making the dumping of non recycling items  like filled black sacks, much more difficult. Lids will remain the same, most of them with slots which can be lifted so that acceptable recyclable items such as cartons & tins (rinsed of any food), empty aerosols, clothing, glass and folded card and paper can be placed through.

If you live on an estate and use communal recycling facilities, you should get a leaflet through your door soon to tell you more about this. There is also a competition which you can enter to win a shopping voucher- so keep an eye out for it on your door mat!

If you need any more information about what you can place into your recycling bin, please visit our website www.lewisham.gov.uk/recycling . If you want to know more about the bin locks, please email Kate.parkinson@lewisham.gov.uk or Kristina.binns@lewisham.gov.uk


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Working with recycling crews to tackle contamination

Over the last few weeks, the recycling department has been going out with crews to see some of the issues they face whilst carrying out their collection duties. We are trying to work closer with the crews to tackle the main issue of contamination as it causes the most problems for the Council.

The recycling crews have been told to check the recycling bins before they are loaded into the truck to ensure that everything in them conforms to the sticker which every household should have on their bin. They are looking out for items such as black sacks which are a problem as the crews don’t know what’s inside the sack. This could range from food and nappy waste through to green garden waste.

The crews are working together to tackle issues with contamination.

The crews are working together to tackle issues with contamination.

All these are a problem for a number of reasons. Food and garden waste is wet and soggy and will start to smell if it’s been left in a wheelie bin for over a week. If this isn’t spotted, or a resident tries to hide the waste underneath the recycling, then it will get tipped into a recycling truck.

If this happens, the waste will be compacted and the wet, smelling contaminants will spread throughout the load and render the hard work of other recyclers void as much of the recycling won’t be used and will instead have to go for incineration.

As well as garden, food and nappy waste, many people think that items such as wood can be recycled at the materials recovery facility. This is incorrect. Whilst wood can be recycled by being chipped and turned into other products, putting it into the recycling bins is not the right way of achieving this. If wood, broken brollies, old electrical equipment, baby’s buggy’s, pieces of furniture and polystyrene amongst many other items are put into the recycling bins, then the bin is being contaminated.

"It's all about the team work."

Steve’s team collects the large bins on estates.

When this happens, our crew will tag the bin so that the resident is aware of the issue. The address is taken down and a letter is sent to the resident explaining why the bin wasn’t collected and what they need to do. If the contamination behaviour continues, then another letter is distributed. If a third letter is distributed following the continuation of the contamination, the Council will take action and remove the bin entirely. A letter will be sent to the resident notifying them of this action.

The taking away of the bin however is a last resort and we’d prefer to work with residents in the first instance to get them using the bins correctly before we get to this stage. As a general rule of thumb for those that aren’t sure of what can be recycled, we say that if the item that you want to recycle doesn’t appear on the sticker of the bin, then please don’t put it into your recycling bin and use your regular refuse bin instead.


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How can I recycle if I live on an estate?

As a continuation from a previous posting about what can go into your recycling bin, we venture onward with our You Tube infomercials and today we are covering the topic of how to recycle if you live on an estate.  As a little bit of background to this,  the recycling team visited some estates recently with the recycling crews to see how the bins are performing.  Overall most were good and filled with the right materials, however many had some rogue elements in there like wood and even a broken child’s pushchair/buggy was found in one.  So please ensure that you follow all the information on the signs and stickers on the bins when recycling using the estates bins. More information below,