Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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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

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/dispose-of/Pages/Small-electricals-mobile-phones.aspx.

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


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WEEE Week starts soon: 22nd – 26th October 2012

Last year Lewisham Council in partnership with 5 primary schools across the borough held what we are calling WEEE Week. WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and with the help of WEEE Man (see image below) we visited 5 primary schools in the borough and spoke to the children in their assemblies.

‘I want your old and redundant electronic waste during WEEE Week’.

The assemblies involved a short presentation to the children starting with general recycling which they are now quite familiar with, we then introduce the idea of recycling electronic waste such as small appliances like toasters, kettles, radios, hairdryers, DVD players, old video recorders and other kitchen appliances.

After the presentation we show the children the short film we made to introduce WEEE Man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ten5m-K_ySo which helps to give them a flavour of what he looks like and what he represents. WEEE Man helps us champion the WEEE recycling message and is a good way of engaging with the children. Once we’ve shown the kids the short film, we then surprise them by introducing WEEE Man himself who comes out from behind the curtain or side door.

Kids are fascinated by the WEEE Man character covered in buttons and other electronic paraphernalia and get quite excited by seeing him. After a quick walk around the assembly hall allowing kids to get a close look at WEEE Man, he then makes a quick exit.

We then inform the assembly and teachers alike that we will be back in two weeks time with a collection vehicle to collect all manner of redundant electronic items which we hope parents and children will bring in for WEEE Week when they drop their kids off at school. The kids will also be given a leaflet which they can take home so that their parents are aware of the event.

We would also like residents who live local to the schools to use this as an opportunity give us their redundant WEEE waste.

The WEEE  collections will be taking place during Week Week (22nd – 26th) at the following locations between 9am – 12pm

  •  Tidemill Academy, 11 Griffin Street, Deptford, London SE8 4RJ
  • John Stainer Community Primary School, Asaph Road, Brockley, SE4 2DY
  • Adamsrill Primary School, Adamsrill Road, Sydenham, SE26 4AQ
  • Coopers Lane Primary School, Pragnell Road, Grove Park, SE12 OLF
  • St Augustines, Dunfield Road, Catford, SE6 3RD


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Recycle Week in Lewisham 2012

June 18th – 24th was National Recycle Week  and was an opportunity for the Environment and Community Development (ECD) Team to promote recycling to the residents of the borough. Social media was used to send out endless tweets giving facts about plastic bottles (this years theme) as well as other facts to encourage people to recycle more or even start recycling for the first time.

Several different events took place by way of raising awareness of recycling generally, but also to keep putting the message out that the Council are now able to recycle more materials such as beverage cartons, shredded paper, textiles and mixed plastics on top of the usual paper, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and glass.

As part of the acivities, we took a group of pensioners from the Lewisham Pensioners Forum to the materials recycling facility (MRF) so that they were able to witness at first hand how all the various materials were separated and sorted using an efficient mechanised process that also includes a great deal of hand sorting.

As well as this, Council staff took out its recycling trailer twice during the week to the Lewisham shopping centre where a builders bag was used to collect ‘on the go’ recycling from the commuters and shoppers who were out and about in the high street.  As well as collecting cans and sandwich packs, there were also a lot of plastic bottles collected. This was also an opportunity to engage with our residents to promote the recycling of plastic bottles and to answer any queries they had about recycling and waste issues generally.

A resident visits us at our recycling trailer

Some of the items collected in the builders bag from shoppers and commuters.

Whilst these activities were taking place, we had also been in touch with an art organisation called Platform-7 to organise another event that we wanted to take place during Recycle Week. The event was called Deluge (see story further down) which took place at the old Blockbusters store in Rushey Green, Catford. The focus here was on the ‘politics of the videocassette, obsolescence and recycling. ‘ Academics from Goldsmiths University gave mini lectures on obsolescence and packaging. Paul Halliday, a lecturer from Goldsmiths was exhibiting his art installation at the Blockbusters store. This was a large spooled out mass of video tape from around 600 old video tapes that were collected as part of the project. Whilst Platform-7 were using the disused shop (courtesy of Lewisham Council), they were encouraging residents to still use it as a drop off point for all their unwanted videos which people were more than happy to do. Just like the old days. Looking at the  the mass of spooled out tape was like staring at an advancing oil slick in the large open space of the Blockbuster store.

The spooled out tape from 600 video tapes. More were collected and will be recycled.

The Council also called upon the services of WEEE Man who turned up to promote the collecting of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) . As well as using Blockbusters for collecting video tapes, it was also being used as a drop off point  for old electrical waste and several items of WEEE were collected as part of this.

WEEE Man deep in video tape at Deluge

The spooling mass of tape could be seen 24 hours a day through the window with the night lights and assisting fans giving the installation a different look in the dark evening.

The drop off point for video tapes. WEEE Man drops off his old Terminator films.

All tapes, items of WEEE, the recyclables collected in the builders bag in the high street will all be recycled at the end of Recycle Week.


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WEEE Man trims down WEEE waste during WEEE Week

WEEE Week ran from September 24th through to October 1st, 2011. In the build up to this event, Lewisham Council called upon the services of its new superhero WEEE Man, who came along to raise awareness and the profile of this type of waste.

 The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) was introduced into UK law in January 2007 by the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006. It aims is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it.

 With the help of WEEE Man, Lewisham Council set about taking the message of recycling WEEE waste to the people of Lewisham. A couple of weeks before WEEE Week started, several schools were visited where a presentation was given to the assemblies about the issues surrounding electronic waste and how this could be recycled. The presentation informed the children about what WEEE waste was, and why it was important to recycle and dispose of this waste in the best way possible. This also included reusing any working items of electronic waste whenever possible.

 The children were then shown this short film featuring WEEE Man 

which they enjoyed very much before the actual man himself appeared to the very excited assemblies. He wandered amongst the excited children before making his exit and leaving behind flyers which the children were instructed to take home to their parents. The flyers carried all the information about the WEEE waste collections that were taking place at 6 schools. The schools that took place were Kelvin Grove, Sydenham, Forster Park, Catford, Ladywell Fields College, Ladywell, All Saints School, Blackheath, Sir Francis Drake, Deptford and Edmund Waller, New Cross. Two consecutive Saturday collections also took place at Dacres Road Nature Reserve.

 The collections saw lots of items being brought, from obsolete video recorders, defunct irons, hairdryers, and microwave ovens, through to redundant printers, scanners, old telephones, faxes, radios, stereos and even a hedge trimmer (see photo above). During the collection week, WEEE Man even decided to put in an appearance and was mobbed by children seeking autographs (see photo below).

 Two caged vehicles worth of WEEE waste was collected during the seven days that the collections ran for and a total of 1880kg of WEEE waste was collected. That’s nearly 2 tonnes!

 For those people that didn’t manage to drop off their old and unwanted items of WEEE waste, don’t forget that we still have 6 small appliance banks around the borough https://recycleforlewisham.com/2011/02/11/small-appliance-banks/ that can be used at any time. If you have items that are too big and not suitable for the small appliance banks, you can always take them to the Reuse and Recycle Centre at Landmann Way.

 Thank you to everyone that came along with your old toasters, kettles and radios etc and for making this event the success that it was. WEEE Man also called on the WEEE phone to say a big thank you to all the schools and the children for all their help and support. He will be more than happy to make return visits to schools and visit other schools in the future.


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WEEE Man is here to save the World!

WEEE Week – 26th September to 1st October 2011

For those that have been following us on Twitter and have seen our recent forays into the world of acting, film and promotional work, you should know all about the acronym WEEE. Below is a groundbreaking film about our very own WEEE superhero … WEEE Man.

For those not entirely familiar with the jargon of the waste industry, WEEE actually stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or put simply, that broken toaster, radio, lamp, kettle or hoover that’s been stuck at the back of your cupboard or in your garage for the last few months that you’ve been meaning to get rid of.

The Council are staging a week of WEEE collections during what we are calling, WEEE Week. This will be your opportunity to empty your cupboards of that unwanted electrical waste, those duplicate remote controls, hairdryers, food mixers, sandwich toasters, and redundant juicing machines.

However, if you have items that are in perfect working order, why not see if someone would like it on Freecycle, or give it to a friend, neighbour or even a charity shop. Though if it is broken, then why not give it to us?

During WEEE Week, a collection vehicle with be at one of the locations below between 8.30am and 12pm to collect your old and unwanted small electrical appliances. (1pm to 4pm at Sir Francis Drake and 1am to 3pm at Dacres Road).

Please bring your old hoovers, radios, stereos, toasters, hairdryers, irons, microwaves, kettles, mobile phones, games consoles, computers and laptops to us for safe disposal.

Please note: No TV’s, fridges or fluorescent tubes are allowed as these are considered hazardous waste which we cannot accept.

Monday 26th: Kelvin Grove School, Kirkdale, SE26 6BB, 8.30am – 12pm

Tuesday 27th: Forster Park, Boundfield Road, SE6 1PQ, 8.30am – 12pm

Wednesday 28th: Ladywell Fields College, Manwood Road, SE4 1SA, 8.30am – 12pm

Thursday 29th: All Saints Schools, Blackheath Vale, SE3 OTX, 8.30am – 12pm AND Sir Francis Drake School, Scawen Road, SE8 5AE, 1pm to 4pm.

Friday 30th: Edmund Waller, Waller Road, SE15 5LY, 8.30am – 12pm

Saturday 1st October: Dacres Wood Nature Reserve, Dacres Road, Forest Hill, 11am – 3pm