Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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How have the Refuse and Recycling Service Standards ‘bedded in’?

Back in the summer of July 2013, four Field Officers were employed by Lewisham Council to undertake what was seen at the time as a relatively short programme of rolling out brand new Service Standards. These were being introduced to clarify what the roles of the crews were when delivering the refuse and recycling services and also what role the residents played.

Residents that receive a kerbside collection will probably be familiar with these new Standards by now. This heralds a new way of doing things in Lewisham and is the first time since collections began that residents are having to bring their bins to the boundary of their property themselves – if they do of course want their bins emptied.

If your bin needs to be emptied, let us know by leaving them at the inside boundary of your property

If your bin needs to be emptied, let us know by leaving them at the inside boundary of your property

Introducing standards for these services is nothing new in London. Most boroughs in the capital have something similar in place that clarifies the roles of crews and residents alike. Greenwich for example ask their residents to leave their bins on the public highway if they want a collection. However in Lewisham we say to leave the bins at the edge of the property boundary to avoid obstructing the pavement. Residents are then expected to return the bins back to their property at their earliest possible convenience once the crews have emptied them and left them at the outside boundary without blocking the public highway.

Now that over a year has passed since their introduction, we wanted to find out how the Service Standards have ‘bedded in’. So we spoke to crews, our Field Officers and looked at correspondence that came in via email and issues that were raised over the phone to see how the rollout went.

We started by asking our crews what their thoughts were on the Service Standards roll out. Their responses were on the whole enthusiastic which we were pleased to hear. They told us that residents were responding well to the changes. There were and still are residents that forget to put their bins out on the day of collection before 6am which results in them not having their bins emptied. When this happens, we have to inform the residents in question that they won’t be getting another collection until the following week. Unless of course its an assisted collection.

Our crews will take additional recycling materials if they are bagged in clear sacks

Our crews will take additional recycling materials if they are bagged in clear sacks

In some instances the changes can be seen as beneficial to residents as collections aren’t always needed every week, which means that bins won’t need to be brought in off the street every week. Those who recycle, compost and generally reduce their waste may only need a collection once a fortnight or even once a month in some cases? You also don’t want your bin sitting outside of your house if you are on holiday.

From December onwards we will no longer have any Field Officers but their help in ensuring everything rolled out smoothly was invaluable. They fed back all issues and problems regarding the rollout and painted a very positive picture. They said that crews and residents alike have adapted well and have responded positively by bringing out their bins. Where there’s been uncertainty, they’ve made visits to residents properties to sort out any problems and issues.

But its not all about bringing the bins to the boundary of the property. The measures are also designed to help residents reduce the amount of waste they generate. When crews come across bins that have been over producing and the lid of the bin is up with bags of waste sticking out, the address is taken down and the resident will receive a letter about this and reminding them that lids must be down on the day of collection.

By asking for the lids to be down on collection day, we are hoping that residents will reduce the amount of waste they produce

By asking for the lids to be down on collection day, we are hoping that residents will reduce the amount of waste they produce

This partnership approach with residents is working well and we want to thank everyone who have helped make the transition and the change in Lewisham bin collection policy a smooth and an easy one.

All we ask now is for residents to remember to take their bins back onto their properties after their collection which will keep the streets looking tidier and prevent passersby from using the bins to deposit other types of waste.

For those that are still not sure about the Service Standards, please click on the following link which gives full details: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Documents/WRServiceStd.pdf


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Service Standards – A thank you to residents

If you haven’t seen them already, then next time you hear a refuse or recycling vehicle coming down your street, have a look out the window at the new livery on the sides of the trucks.

We'll only collect side waste if it's for recycling and it presented correctly.

Thank you – for bagging your extra recycling.

Most of the borough should now be familiar with the new Service Standards that we have been rolling out since July 2013. Many of our new trucks are also being used to to carry those Service Standards messages and more importantly to say thank you to all those people that have helped to make the transition an easy one.

The Service Standards have been brought in to bring Lewisham’s refuse and recycling services in line with what most London boroughs and council’s nationwide are doing with regard to their collections.

They are also being used to encourage waste minimisation as we are now not collecting any additional waste that is left by your bin (known as side waste). Residents are also being asked to ensure that their lids go completely down on their refuse bins and not to place green waste, building or DIY waste or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in the bin.

Thank you - for putting your bin at the edge of your property on collection day.

Thank you – for putting your bin at the edge of your property on collection day.

As well the above, all residents are also being asked to bring their bins (refuse and recycling) to the inside edge or boundary of their property on collection day by 6am. Crews have been instructed to only collect those bins that are at the boundary and those that are not placed there will not be collected. The only exception to this is if you are entitled to an assisted collection, in which case our crews will collect and return your bins to where you keep them.

The Service Standards have been bedded in in most of the borough now and there are just a few more rounds to go now before the entire borough is completed. When the borough is fully rolled out, our crews will adopt the rule that if your bins are not out on the day of collection, then we will assume that you do not want a collection or are on holiday. There are many people in the borough that are happy with this arrangement as a lot of people don’t need a collection every week.

If bins are out at the inside edge or boundary of your property, our crews will empty them and return them to the outside edge where you as a resident are expected to bring them in off the street until your next collection the following week. We are also encouraging residents to number their bins as well to prevent bin theft and to make it easier for our crews to identify where the bins came from.

 


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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.