Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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:

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:

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WEEE Week 2013 – Another Successful Year

Monday October 21st saw the start of WEEE Week 2013 and the first school that we visited was Holbeach Primary School in Catford. A typical visit starts with signing in at the school reception, before being shown the hall or gym where the assembly will take place.

Cllr Susan Wise, children from Torridon Junior School (David Eidenas, Charlotte Chambers, Mark Masara & Ayomide Adako) and of course WEEE Man

Cllr Susan Wise, children from Torridon Junior School (David Eidenas, Charlotte Chambers, Mark Masara & Ayomide Adako) and of course WEEE Man

Once the laptop, sound and screen have all been set up and tested, the children start to come in. Once settled, the WEEE presentation begins and there is lots of opportunities for the children to participate by answering questions. Children are told about the recycling of paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and mixed plastics etc before being told about what to do with electronic waste.

They are then shown the short WEEE Man film which they enjoy very much and is the perfect opportunity to build up the tension for the appearance of WEEE Man himself. This takes one of two shouts from the assembled children before WEEE Man emerges from a hidden corner, behind a curtain, a cupboard or side room. With lights on and a menacing brooding walk into the room, WEEE Man can cut a quite scary figure – so much so that younger members of the audience have been known to get a little upset at times.

WEEE Man is a dark silent figure that identifies himself with the likes of The Terminator and serves as a visual reminder for children to bring in redundant electrical items from their homes, i.e. old hairdryers, radios, toasters, heaters, DVD players etc. Children are genuinely fascinated by his appearance and ask lots of questions about him and the recycling of electronic waste in general. Questions like ‘Is he real?’ Answer ‘Yes, of course he is’ and ‘where is he from?’ Answer ‘The future’

WEEE Man watches over as the children drop their unwanted electrical items in the WEEE bin.

WEEE Man watches over as the children drop their unwanted electrical items in the WEEE bin.

We tell the children that he is only able to stay for a short time and after a few minutes he disappears behind the door or curtain where he made his entrance to the cries of ‘bye WEEE Man’ from all the assembled children.

All the children in the school are then given a flyer which they take home to their parents to see if they have any redundant electrical items at home which they can bring along and deposit in the WEEE bins which we had delivered to all the schools before WEEE Week started.

After visiting Holbeach School on Monday morning, we then visited Torridon School on Tuesday where again the children gave WEEE Man a very warm reception (pictured above). Wednesday saw WEEE Man at Athelney Primary School before going to Horniman Primary School where it took several shouts from the children before WEEE Man appeared which added extra tension to the event. Our final school was the Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School where WEEE Man surprised the assembly by coming out of a room at the back of the hall and catching all the children off guard.

We are hoping that all the bins will collect a healthy amount of electronic waste which is a valuable resource. These items shouldn’t be put into the recycling bin as this will be classed as contamination, nor should they go into the refuse bin, as this will be incinerated and the resources lost.

For those people that want to recycle their old electronic items, we have WEEE banks in the borough, please see the following link: or you can use our Reuse and Recycle Centre:


100% FREE collection and recycling of your school’s waste electric and electronic equipment

What’s the catch?  There is none.  Simply collect a minimum of 12 computer base units and we will take away all your WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) waste FREE OF CHARGE.

Electrical waste is NOT restricted to I.T equipment and covers anything electrical or electronic,  plus there is no minimum specification for the base units. This service is being managed by SWEEEP Kuusakoski, in partnership with Lewisham Council and provides education facilities with an all-round financially and environmentally efficient service.

This is a great opportunity for schools to dispose of their old IT and electronic equipment using this free service.

This is a great opportunity for schools to dispose of their old IT and electronic equipment using this free service.

Simple steps to book your collection:

Call Amanda on 01795 434125 or email Collections will be made within 48 hrs of your call or on a preferred date, along with full waste transfer notes and certificates of destruction.

All waste is responsibly recycled at our processing centre in Sittingbourne and we are the only waste processing centre in the world to have Nulife technology that separates lead and glass used in the older style TV and monitor screens, so you can be assured that 97.39%  of your waste is recycled, by 100% renewable energy, with the small portion of waste left going to ‘waste to energy’ production.  Click here to view the BBC video demonstrating our recycling best practise.

What your colleagues are saying:

‘Great service, well organised and friendly staff!’ – Lesley Osbourne – Bradfields School

‘I couldn’t believe it was free. It was fantastic. I am already collecting some electrical appliances to recycle. This kind of service is a great help for the schools, the community  and the environment as it promotes the recycling culture and safe disposal of non-wanted electrical appliances’. Wilfredo Chillitupa Z – Wainscott Primary School

Amanda Hamley

 Tel: +44 (0)1795 434125

after 5 years of good service the SWEEEP website gets a refresh:


New Technology makes Britain a world leader

On Tuesday 15th January Lewisham’s Recycling Team visited the SWEEEP Kuusakovski recycling facility in Sittingbourne. All of the borough’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is taken there to be recycled. Sweeep Kuusakoski are one of the UK’s leading WEEE collection and recycling specialists.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment piles up before being processed.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment piles up before being processed.

The £5m recycling plant is one of the most sophisticated and environmentally robust facilities in Europe. SWEEEP recycle over 94% of all WEEE that comes into the facility and are continually looking to improve that rate. The facility has a host of machinery that helps it to disassemble and sort different items from precious metals to rigid plastics, but despite all of this technology it would not be any where near as efficient without the dedicated people that do the jobs that the machinery cannot.

Staff at SWEEEP sort and process the electronic waste off conveyor belts.

Staff at SWEEEP sort and process the electronic waste off conveyor belts.

They have also invested over £2m in the research, design and build of the first leaded glass extraction furnace. The Nulife technology means that they are able to remove all the lead that is in the old style cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs. On average an old CRT TV had over 1kg of lead in it and since we moved over to flat screen technology this leaded glass has been stockpiled throughout the world.

SWEEEP have invested in innovative technology to extract lead from old CRT's.

SWEEEP have invested in innovative technology to extract lead from old CRT’s.

The SWEEEP Kuusakovski facility is the only place in the world where this hazardous waste can be processed. The furnace separates the lead from the glass and both are able to be reused in industry and manufacturing again. It is an absolutely amazing process and is a real success story of Britain’s new green economy.

Justin Greenaway, Contracts Manager at SWEEEP. 1 CRT produces 1 kg of lead.

Justin Greenaway, Contracts Manager at SWEEEP. 1 CRT produces 1 kg of lead.

SWEEEP have now introduced free WEEE Collections for all of the education facilities in the borough. So if you know of any Schools, Colleges or Universities that could use the service please contact Amanda at SWEEEP on Amanda or 01795 434125.  For further information please click on the following link

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WEEE Man wins award at Westminster

On Monday 14th November Lewisham Council was recognised by The Green Organisation as this year’s most innovative London Borough for their recycling superhero WEEE Man. The Green Organisation is an independent, non-political, non-activist, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

They awarded us GOLD at this year’s Green Apple Awards at the award ceremony that was held at the House of Commons in the River Terrace Pavillion Function Room. Councillor Susan Wise and Lewisham Council officer Dave Brinson (who incidentally bears an uncanny resemblance to WEEE Man) picked up the award on behalf of the Council. They were presented with the award by celebrity dog lovers the K-9 Angels.

The K9 Angel’s with Dave Brinson and Cllr Susan Wise at the House of Commons.

WEEE Man has come back from the future in order to educate Lewisham’s residents and school children about how to dispose of their old electrical items responsibly. He takes his name from the European Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Directive. And for any of you who aren’t familiar with WEEE Man or if you just fancy watching the UK’s favourite superhero (in our opinion anyway) in action again just press play on the video below.

Dave gives the Green Apple award to WEEE Man for photograph session.

So what’s next for WEEE Man? Well, we are already looking towards next year and working with schools again to raise the profile of  electrical and electronic waste.  We are looking for schools who are willing to take part in collecting electronic waste and hopefully allow a visit by our recycling superhero WEEE Man.

If your local school in Lewisham would like to get involved next year, please contact Paddy Swift via email:

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WEEE Man v Recycler the robot

Its been a electrifying week over the last two weeks in Lewisham schools as the electronic giants of the recycling world fight it out for their cause.

The fortnight began with Lewisham’s very own, award nominated WEEE Man (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) who visited five schools to raise awareness of WEEE waste. It is estimated that on average in the UK, each person buys 2.8 new electrical items a year which has led to electrical goods becoming the fastest growing waste stream, increasing by around 5% each year. Faced with this challenge, Lewisham’s Environmental & Community Development (ECD) team came up with the idea for WEEE man- a recycling superhero created by using recycled pieces or electrical equipment targeted at primary aged children.

WEEE Man and Cllr Susan Wise help out at the collection at St Augustines Catholic Primary School with children (left to right) Tawana, Sarujan, Taylor, Jada and Joan.

Following the visits, the ECD team set up temporary collection points outside Tidemill Academy, John Stainer Community Primary, Adamsrill Primary, Coopers Lane and St Augustines Schools. Children, teachers, parents and residents from surrounding roads were invited to bring along their WEEE waste along and we managed to collect a large miscellaneous items including : toasters, laptops, stereos, mp3 players, lamps, mobile phones, food mixers, games consoles, irons and electric toothbrushes. Cllr Susan Wise, Cabinet member for Customer Services lent her support to WEEE Week by attending the collection at St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School.

The second superhero visiting schools was Recycler the rapping robot- a creation thought up by Waste Watch and brought in to visit schools who signed up to this years Clean & Green programme. Recycler who talked, sung and danced during a 45 minute session highlighted the meaning and importance of the three ‘R’’s- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and explained the resource lifecycles of everyday objects.

From left to right are: Mark Butler, Joana Rocha Santos, Giorgia Nair, Hilman Hazizi, Felix Biddle kneeling in the front with Recycler the robot at the centre.

Shirley- Recyclers Roboteer, encourages the children to look at ways they can help to reduce their waste, giving practical examples such as taking old carrier bags to shops instead of picking up new ones and buying cereal in large boxes instead of small multipacks which have a lot more packaging. The children are then encouraged to take the message home and spread the word amongst their parents and carers.

For further information on where waste electrical can be recycled please visit our website at

We will be doing a full review of  WEEE Man’s school visits and be giving  more details on how all the collections went.