Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

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Are you planning a royal knees up?

A bit of pre-planning on the food front will make sure you save a bit of money and don’t end up throwing too much away. If you are planning to celebrate the royal wedding by throwing a large party the tips below will help you out, if you’re not then they apply equally for any party or BBQ (what with the early summer we’re currently experiencing!).

  • Choose your lunch wisely. Could your party food be used as left overs later?
  • Plan ahead… eat from your freezer a week or 2 before the party to make space for left overs that can be frozen. It’s amazing how much can be frozen!
  • Divide up your food so that you put out only half of the food first. Keep the second half in a cooler bag and only bring it out if you need it.
  • Come prepared! Have on hand cling film, sandwich bags, or better still reusable containers that are clean and easy to pop the leftovers into.
  • Invite a friend to help finish up your left overs for dinner.

The UK wastes enough food to fill Wembley Stadium 8 times a year (8.3 million tonnes), find out more information at

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Upcycling better than recycling!

Upcycling (as defined by Wikipedia) is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. This sounds like a great idea – but how does this work in practice?

…well a clever blog “bachelor degrees online” have compiled a list of “80 upcycling for your dorm room” – whilst we realise that most visitors to the Recycle for Lewisham site will neither live in dorm rooms or the US, most of these ideas can be carried out in all homes (given a certain amount of time and patience).

Our personal favourites are the “toothbrush toothbrush holder”, “wine corkboard” and the “blue jean organizer”, whether you think that these ideas are examples of upcycling or recycling depends on if you think political signs are more useful than cardboard chairs!

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Love Christmas – Hate Waste

As Christmas is fast approaching I thought it might be pertinent to do a Christmas related waste post… Without wanting to sound like a scrooge, Christmas is a time of both excessive consumption and waste. Whilst I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a couple of extra mince pies or give your loved ones presents, there are a few things you can do to make your Christmas a little less wasteful:

1. Portion Control – shops are only shut for a couple of days so there is no need to buy excessive amounts of food, save money and reduce waste by thinking about how many people you will be feeding and how much they are really going to eat. You can use the Christmas perfect portions page on the Love Food Hate Waste website to plan your meals. Remember if you do find that you have over estimated you can also ….

2. Use up your leftovers – Visit the same website to find some Christmas left over recipes that will give you some great alternatives (and additions) to the classic turkey sandwich. Left over food is also being dealt with on London wide basis with the funding of a Surplus food centre in time for Christmas, the project will provide 800,000 meals for the needy.

3. Recycle your wrapping paper – So you’ve unwrapped all of your Christmas presents and have a wrapping paper mountain you need to clear to be able to watch the Christmas telly, the good news is that YOU CAN RECYCLE all of your wrapping paper, so pop it in your green bin or box.   

4. Pack your decorations away – Around 500 tonnes of old Christmas tree lights are thrown away each year, coupled with a huge amount of baubles and decorations! By taking down and packing away your decorations carefully you’ll have a lot less broken light bulbs and it will make it much easier to put it all up again next year.

5. Recycle your Christmas tree – If you haven’t bought a planted or plastic tree, the final act of Christmas is usually the ritual of throwing the Christmas tree into the back garden, where it gets left until the spring when you start to venture out into the garden and discover a very sad looking, needleless brown tree! Lewisham provide 12 sites throughout the borough where you can recycle your old Christmas trees for free.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Plastic bottle tops!

I’ve just been sent this useful tip for re-using the lids from plastic bottles – it saves them from going in your recycling (where they can be a bit of a pain) and gives them another life, it will also save you from having to buy bag clips ….

Make an incision and using a pair of scissors cut the plastic bottle RIGHT AT the NECK.

Stick the plastic bag through the NECK of the bottle which you have just cut off. 

Screw cap back on for a perfect seal!

Clever hey!


Love Food Hate Waste

Lewisham Council are putting on some free Love Food Hate Waste workshops …

What’s it all about? Love Food Hate Waste is the ‘Waste Not Want Not’ of the modern day, providing handy tips, advice and recipes for leftovers to help everyone waste less food.

Why? 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households in the UK every year. Reducing food waste is a major issue and not just about good food going to waste; wasting food costs the average family with children £680 a year and has serious environmental implications too.

Lewisham Council are holding the workshop to discuss handy tips on how to store or use up left-overs, give you some great ideas about meal planning and discovering all the types of food that can be frozen. If you’re interested use the contact details below.