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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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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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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Free electrical waste recycling for businesses in Lewisham

A new free service for London businesses which aims to minimise ‘fridge mountains’, reuse old computers and cut down on the amount of electrical goods sent to costly landfill, has been launched that will help businesses to save money and reduce their impact on the city’s environment.

 This initiative is part of the ‘Nice Save’ Recycle for London campaign which aims to encourage Londoners to recycle rather than bin their rubbish and save their local councils money in the process and in this case London businesses.

Piles of WEEE at SWEEEP

The service, named 1,2,3 Recycle for Free, is being delivered by DHL’s environmental service offering Envirosolutions and SWEEP Kuusakoski in partnership with the Mayor’s Recycle for London programme, to offer businesses and organisations a free collection of their unwanted electrical items. This includes white goods, smaller electrical items such as kettles and outdated IT equipment.

 The service, the first to be offered free to businesses of all sizes, is now running in ten London boroughs, with the aim of cutting down the amount of waste electronic and electrical equipment illegally or irresponsibly disposed of and providing small and medium sized businesses with an important recycling service. With one phone call, all electrical waste worries can be solved, at no cost.

Go to http://123recycleforfree.com/ for more information on what they will collect.


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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


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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.