Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Say goodbye to the small appliance banks

Small appliance banks or WEEE banks as they’re known, have been in parts of the borough since February 2011. There are only 6 of them and they were deliberately placed in the southern parts of Lewisham to serve those residents who were furthest away from our Reuse and Recycling Centre.

The odd break-in into the banks has occurred over the years, but on the whole they have been popular and well used. The aim of the banks was to collect small appliances such as kettles, toasters, hairdryers, radios, DVD players, old phones and other small electronic items that had reached the end of their life and were ready to be recycled.

The banks will be going around August 12th

The banks will be removed from August 12th, 2015

Now 6 years later, we have to say goodbye to the banks as DHL, the company that own and manage the banks do not have the funding to keep and service them any more. DHL have told us that the banks will be removed around the 12th August 2015.

If you still have a broken toaster, radio, or similar item that is stuck in your cupboard, shed or garage, then please take the opportunity to drop them into one of the small appliance banks if you live near one.

The banks can currently be found at the following locations:

  • Turnham Road (opposite the shops)
  • Baring Road Bus Garden (Grove Park)
  • Catford Bus Garage (Bromley Road)
  • Sydenham Road/Porthcawe Road junction (Sydenham)
  • Sydenham Hill
  • Lee Gate Shopping Centre

For those people that are upgrading or replacing old appliances, please ask the retailer if they will accept your old appliance when you purchase the new one. Shops like Argos are doing a trade in scheme for old WEEE items, full details here: http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/argos-launches-weee-trade-in-scheme/

Our Reuse and Recycling centre will always be available for WEEE and many other items that you wish to dispose of, full details can be found here: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Pages/landmann-way.aspx


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WEEE Man Completes Another Successful Tour of Schools in Lewisham

This Friday sees the end of another successful week for our resident Superhero WEEE Man. In a whistle stop tour of seven schools in the borough, he popped in to say hello to lots of children at primary schools up and down the borough.

It all started on Monday morning by a visit to Fairlawn School in Forest Hill and then in the afternoon appearing at Grinling Gibbon School in Deptford.

On Tuesday he was seen visiting Myatt Gardens School in Brockley and then it was on to Wednesday where he did two visits. One to Baring School in Grove Park in the morning and then went on to Perrymount School in the afternoon.

On Thursday he suddenly appeared at Beecroft Garden Primary School in Brockley/Crofton Park and for his final visit, he showed up at Lucas Vale School in Deptford.

'I want your old electronic waste during WEEE Week'.

‘My message is simple, keep recycling all small and large appliances to make ensure good use is made of these resources’.

His visits coincide with presentations to the school assemblies where children learn about the recycling of electronic waste. They’re told about everyday items such as toasters, radios, kettles, irons and hairdryers etc and what they need to do with them once they have stopped working.

It’s not all about electrical items breaking however. The presentation also touches upon newer, emerging technologies which ultimately make existing appliances redundant. This was demonstrated by showing children a large CD player/tape/radio which is more or less being replaced today by an ordinary smart phone.

After the presentation, the children get to see the film we made with WEEE Man before the man himself mysteriously appears in the assembly from a nearby cupboard/curtain or whatever happens to be at hand for him to appear from.

WEEE Man’s appearance and the showing of the film helps to cement the message we are trying to give the children. They also get to take a leaflet home to their parents letting them know where our small appliance banks are and also that we have a Reuse and Recycle Centre for much larger items of WEEE. Information on those can be found here: https://recycleforlewisham.com/2011/02/11/small-appliance-banks/

WEEE Man did also hint that this might be his final year doing the school visits and hoped that all the children will continue to recycle their electronic waste in the future and keep up the good work and message that he has been delivering for the past 3 years.


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What a busy WEEEk that was

And so it begins….

Preparations for the annual WEEE Week event start a long time before we even get to autumn. Whilst the sun is shining and children are enjoying their summer holidays, we at WEEE Man HQ are deciding which schools to target for WEEE Week that we run in October/November time.

Our strategy is to target schools in the north, east, south, west and somewhere central to Lewisham in an attempt to engage and reach as many people as possible and so spread the educational message as well collecting as much Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment as we can.

WEEE Man and Kristina from our recycling team at Coopers Lane Primary School.

With the Lewisham map spread out in a secret underground bunker (aka Wearside depot), and a team of generals assembled (the recycling team), we look at which schools we are going to target for our 2012 campaign. After much discussion and deliberation a shortlist of 5 schools is produced. We also draw up a reserve list in case the original 5 can’t accommodate us.

With our 5 schools earmarked and our pins firmly stuck in the Lewisham map, it’s then a matter of contacting the schools through a series of emails and phone calls. Phone messages and emails are duly dispatched to all 5 schools and its then just a matter of waiting for the school summer holidays to finish.

A Council Waste Prevention Officer from our recycling team shows the school assembly some examples of waste electrical and electronic equipment at St Augustine’s.

Within a couple of weeks of the summer holidays finishing, follow up calls are made to the original 5 schools to secure their participation in this years event. Within the second week of chasing up the 5 original schools, two drop out straightaway as they are busy on the suggested dates – so we select others from our reserve list.

Typically a school’s involvement with WEEE Week starts with a visit by the recycling team and WEEE Man to conduct a school assembly. A member of the recycling team goes through a power point presentation with the children and shows them props (an old toaster, radio, hairdryer and an iron etc.) to demonstrate the sort of items that we are interested in collecting. We then show the children a short film featuring WEEE Man coming back from the future Terminator style, bringing the message of recycling and how important it is to collect redundant electronic waste. When the film finishes, we ask the children if they liked WEEE Man which we usually receive a resounding YEESSSSS. We then ask them if they would like to meet WEEE Man to which we receive an even bigger resounding YEEESSSSSSSS!!

Then, either from behind a curtain or from out of an old PE store cupboard, WEEE Man dramatically appears. The children as you can imagine get very excited to see him. WEEE Man is the strong silent moody type of Superhero and during his appearance he wanders among the children without uttering a single word. Any questions that the children have for him are answered by a member of the recycling team. Once a brief Q&A session has taken place, WEEE Man takes his leave and goes back from where he appeared from. After the assembly finishes, a few lucky children are chosen to stay behind for photographs with him. Even close up to WEEE Man the children are still in awe of him and are a little nervous of having their picture taken with him.

WEEE Man at John Stainer School.

Before disappearing after the assemblies, we leave a few hundred flyers behind which the school distribute to the children via their book bag. The aim of the leaflet is to inform parents, carers, aunties, uncles, grandparents etc. of the forthcoming WEEE Week which takes place two weeks after the assemblies. We leave a week between collections and assemblies to give us more time to put further messages out on Twitter and deliver more leaflets in the local community.

Then two weeks later we return to the school which a large collection vehicle, an A frame sign and start collecting all manner of electronics from school children, parents and teachers alike. This year we collected old video recorders, DVD players, clockwork radios and regular radios, lots of hairdryers and irons, a few toasters, a couple of food mixers, some speakers, some old CCTV equipment, amplifiers, a few laptops, lamps, bread makers, mobile phones, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, old computers, printers and an abundance of cables and plugs.

We return with a truck and an A frame sign to collect all those unwanted electrical items.

With regard to this years efforts, the recycling team would like to say a big thank you to the five schools that took part in the WEEE Week event and they were Tidemill Academy, Deptford, John Stainer school, Brockley, Adamsrill Primary school, Sydenham, Coopers Lane Primary school, Grove Park and St Augustine’s Catholic Primary school, Catford.

Through the partnership of Lewisham’s recycling team and the participating schools above, we managed to collect over a tonne of waste electrical and electronic equipment this year.

If there are other schools that would like to participate next year and think their assemblies would benefit from a visit by our Superhero WEEE Man, then please contact paddy.swift@lewisham.gov.uk


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Small appliance banks

Have you ever had something like a kettle, toaster or hairdryer that doesn’t work anymore and you’re unsure what to do with it?

The answer is here – from next Tuesday (15th February) 6 brand new small appliance banks will land in various locations across Lewisham, this is starting off as a trial, but subject to demand will be extended to cover more locations throughout the borough.

The banks will help Lewisham divert more of its waste to be recycled as well as providing a convenient service for residents, at no cost to the council. The electricals will be taken to SWEEEP to be recycled – see our previous posting for more details about the process.

You can place anything electrical from sandwich toasters and old DIY equipment to telephones, stereos and DVD players in the banks which are located at:

  • Sydenham Hill, Sydenham, SE26 6SL
  • Sainsbury’s car park (Pearcefield Avenue, Forest Hill) SE23 3EU
  • Catford Bus Garage (Bromley Road) SE6 2PF
  • Grove Park Bus Garage (Baring Road) SE12 0DU
  • Junction of Sydenham Road and Porthcawe Road, SE26 5SF
  • Junction of Leyland Road an Eltham Road, SE12 8DU

See the map below to find your nearest bank … Photo’s to follow on Tuesday!

The banks can be found mainly in the south of the borough as residents in the North have easier access to our Reuse and Recycling Centre at Landmann Way in New Cross – where these items can also be taken.