Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Making Your Christmas Greener Each Year (Pt 2)

In Part 1 of our Christmas blog we looked at trees, food and wrapping paper. Now for Part 2, looking at  unwanted Christmas jumpers, recycling and reusing, alternative presents and what to do with electrical waste.

  1. That Christmas jumper or unwanted item of clothing

Love Your Clothes estimates that over £300 million was spent on Christmas jumpers in 2015; and if that wasn’t bad enough, they also said that 40% of buyers would only be wearing the jumpers once or twice.

Christmas jumper

Our textiles banks will take all manner of clean clothes.

If you are the lucky/unlucky (delete as you wish) recipient of a Christmas jumper or an item of clothing that cannot be taken back, you might want to look at other options. If you are considering buying a Christmas jumper for someone, you should firstly ask yourself if this person would really wear it? If you don’t think they would, then maybe you should buy something else? If you are reading this on Christmas day or after and have received something that looks like the image above, then there are numerous charity shops and clothing banks https://goo.gl/LnEbFS that can help. You could also try selling items of clothing on EBay or use Freecycle. Or what about this: https://wasteaid.org.uk/happy-christmas-jumper-swap/

  1. Recycling and Reusing

I think we can all agree that Christmas generates more waste than any other time of the year? More food is purchased, more drink and more presents. Much of what we think of as waste generated from this is actually a very useful resource. Cardboard, paper, glass bottles and jars (all clean), tins and cans and plastic bottles (all clean) can all be recycled. The green recycling bins or bins with the green lids accept all of these items. They don’t however accept food or garden waste. If you have a compost bin, please use this for all your fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, toilets rolls and even shredded paper. More information on recycling can be found on the Council’s website: https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Pages/What-can-i-put-in-my-recycling-bin.aspx

Please make sure that you put your bin out at the boundary of your property on collection day as well. Remember, collection times will change over the Christmas period due to the bank holidays. The collections will be a day behind for both refuse and recycling. If you have additional recycling, please use a clear sack to contain this.

  1. Presents

This can be a tricky area for those wishing to do something more environmentally friendly this year. Eartheasy.com say ‘look for locally made gifts. Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. And gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known.’ And what about choosing gifts made from recycled materials, like the examples here: http://eartheasy.com/give_recycled.htm

christmas-presents

There are also charitable gifts. Oxfam have a huge choice of gifts that benefit others in different parts of the world: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped

All of the above are just a few examples that we have found and many people will have their own ideas. If you do, please share in our comments section below.

  1. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Energy-efficient LED Lighting: If you have lights that are over 10 years old, it will be more efficient to replace them with newer, LED bulbs. This can save you up to 90% or more on electricity and they will last longer than traditional bulbs.

Replace Burnt Out Bulbs: Perfectly good lights are often thrown away when all that is required is a change of a single bulb. It may be worth spending time to find and replace the non-working bulbs or invest in a bulb tester (that can be shared between multiple families).

Utilise Timers: Might be worth considering putting your Christmas lights on timers? If you have lights adorning trees or lights outside, don’t count on remembering to turn them off after a long day. If you plug the lights into a timer, that will remember for you. Light timers can be found at any hardware store.

This time of year will probably see huge increases in consumer electronic waste as old unwanted electrical items often get consigned to the bin or the back of a cupboard. Radios, hairdryers, MP3 players, phones, game consoles and many other electronic goods maybe be looking at being discarded around this time of the year. If you find yourself in the position of not knowing what to do with an old electronic device, click on the following link for more information: https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/dispose-of/Pages/small-electricals-mobile-phones.aspx

WEEE ... What happens to your electrical items that go for recycling?

Please recycle your old waste electrical and electronic equipment

Larger items of electronic waste can be taken to our Reuse and Recycle Centre in New Cross, SE14: https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/Pages/landmann-way.aspx

Also, try thinking about buying presents that don’t require batteries and using rechargeable batteries if this cannot be avoided.

Christmas decorations: Christmas is a good time to get creative around the home. The internet is full of creative ways you can decorate your house like the You Tube video in part 1 of this article (see previous blog post). One simple idea that you can do is make home made stars by cutting shapes out of unwanted cardboard and decorating with last year’s wrapping paper, or even make them out of plastic bottles. All you need to do is cut out the bottom of your bottle, and cover with spray paint, acrylic paint or glitter glue. Just make sure the rest goes in the recycling bin! Here are some more ideas:

That just leaves us to wish everyone in Lewisham and all readers of this blog an enjoyable Christmas holiday and a happy New Year in 2017.


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It might not be a white Christmas, but it can certainly be a green one.

Christmas trees are appearing in people’s front rooms, temperatures are plummeting and Slade were heard on the radio the other day singing that famous yuletide song (you know the one). Yes, it’s Christmas and once again we are putting together a few useful hints and tips on how you can make your Christmas a little greener and a little more environmentally friendly.

  1. Where possible try to shop locally. If you are shopping for food then Lewisham does have some great markets for fruit and veg, the following link has more details http://goo.gl/LNJ9S Supporting your local shops will also keep your community thriving and put something back into the local economy.
  1. The purchasing of a Christmas tree can leave people wondering what their best options are. Artificial trees may last for years but aren’t recyclable and require manufacturing and use man made materials. Real trees are carbon neutral and can be chipped and composted afterwards so are much better for the environment. Some organisations such as www.caringchristmastrees.com and www.christmasforest.co.uk are involved in supporting good causes and may deliver direct. Recycling points for Christmas trees can be found here http://ow.ly/7SVVc
  1. Once you’ve made the decision about your tree, the next thing you might want to think about is decorating it. If you are using fairy light lights, why not consider low energy LED lights? What about using mistletoe, holly with their different coloured berries. Be more creative and consider making your own decorations.

Xmas 2012

  1. When buying presents, again think about shopping locally if you can. Are the presents that you’re buying good for the environment. Could you buy a wind up radio or wind up mp3 player or similar and can you wrap these in recycled wrapping paper?
  1. Christmas cards can all be recycled, some schools may even take them for a school art projects and they can raise money for some charities if dropped off at the right collections boxes.
  1. Food and drink also plays a large part in the Christmas festivities. This of course generates huge amounts of waste, particularly with paper, cardboard, glass bottles, jars and plastic bottles. Please use your recycling bin to collect all these materials. And don’t forget, we can now also collect mixed plastics, beverage cartons (Tetra Paks), textiles, aerosols and shredded paper. Where food is concerned, don’t forget to check out www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for lots of interesting ideas on using leftovers and don’t forget to compost all these peelings as well. And don’t forget that collection times will also change over Christmas, below is all the information you need to ensure you don’t miss your collection.
Normal collection day Revised collection day
Monday 24 December Normal day
Tuesday 25 December Thursday 27th December
Wednesday 26 December One or two days later
Thursday 27 December One or two days later
Friday 28 December Normal day or one day later
Monday 31 December Normal day
Tuesday 1 January Wednesday 2nd January
Wednesday 2 January Normal day or one day later
Thursday 3 January Normal day or one day later
Friday 4 January Normal day or one day later
  1. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Christmas is a time when people receive new electrical appliances and gadgets. If you have an old appliance that still works, why not give it to a charity shop. If the item is broken, why not use one of our WEEE banks to dispose of it or take it to our Reuse and Recycle Centre. See the following link for the locations of our WEEE banks and don’t forget to recycle your old batteries https://recycleforlewisham.com/2011/02/11/small-appliance-banks/
  1. If you’re not fully committed to the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, why not make 2013 the time to start. Your recycling will even generate an income for the Council. And finally, don’t forgot contamination is a major issue for us, make your 2013 a contamination free year when using your recycling bin. Say no to food waste, garden waste and put those black sacks in the refuse bin.

The recycling team at Lewisham Council would also like to say a big thank you to everyone in the borough for supporting all the recycling and environmental services in 2012 and look forward to their support in 2013


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Refuse bins refuse to take the WEEE

Christmas is a time that see’s a huge demand in the purchasing of electronic goods, be it something for the kitchen, a new games console or a DVD player. This increase in the purchasing of electrical goods also results in a lot of what’s known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, or put more simply, WEEE. WEEE waste or electronic waste can mean anything from a toaster to a hairdryer to a radio through to an old video recorder or microwave oven.

During the year we enlisted the help of WEEE Man to raise the issue and profile of electrical waste and to encourage more recycling of small and large electrical appliances. Now that Christmas is nearly upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to reinforce the message again using the advert below.

This is aimed at encouraging everyone that has old and redundant items of electronic waste to dispose of them properly, which means not putting them into your black refuse bin where they will only get incinerated.

If items of electronic waste are simply incinerated then the opportunity to recycle them will be completely lost and a resource wasted. Instead, this kind of waste can be taken to either our Reuse and Recycle Centre at Landmann Way or taken to one of our 6 small appliance banks that are dotted around the borough which can be found if you click on the following link https://recycleforlewisham.com/recycling-map/

Also, if you are considering purchasing a new item as a replacement for something you already have in the January sales, why not ask the electrical store if they will take the redundant item off you if it no longer works. And of course, don’t forget that we can also take all your old batteries through our kerbside battery collection scheme or through our many battery collection points in the libraries.

Merry Christmas