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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WEEE Man Completes Another Successful Tour of Schools in Lewisham

This Friday sees the end of another successful week for our resident Superhero WEEE Man. In a whistle stop tour of seven schools in the borough, he popped in to say hello to lots of children at primary schools up and down the borough.

It all started on Monday morning by a visit to Fairlawn School in Forest Hill and then in the afternoon appearing at Grinling Gibbon School in Deptford.

On Tuesday he was seen visiting Myatt Gardens School in Brockley and then it was on to Wednesday where he did two visits. One to Baring School in Grove Park in the morning and then went on to Perrymount School in the afternoon.

On Thursday he suddenly appeared at Beecroft Garden Primary School in Brockley/Crofton Park and for his final visit, he showed up at Lucas Vale School in Deptford.

'I want your old electronic waste during WEEE Week'.

‘My message is simple, keep recycling all small and large appliances to make ensure good use is made of these resources’.

His visits coincide with presentations to the school assemblies where children learn about the recycling of electronic waste. They’re told about everyday items such as toasters, radios, kettles, irons and hairdryers etc and what they need to do with them once they have stopped working.

It’s not all about electrical items breaking however. The presentation also touches upon newer, emerging technologies which ultimately make existing appliances redundant. This was demonstrated by showing children a large CD player/tape/radio which is more or less being replaced today by an ordinary smart phone.

After the presentation, the children get to see the film we made with WEEE Man before the man himself mysteriously appears in the assembly from a nearby cupboard/curtain or whatever happens to be at hand for him to appear from.

WEEE Man’s appearance and the showing of the film helps to cement the message we are trying to give the children. They also get to take a leaflet home to their parents letting them know where our small appliance banks are and also that we have a Reuse and Recycle Centre for much larger items of WEEE. Information on those can be found here: https://recycleforlewisham.com/2011/02/11/small-appliance-banks/

WEEE Man did also hint that this might be his final year doing the school visits and hoped that all the children will continue to recycle their electronic waste in the future and keep up the good work and message that he has been delivering for the past 3 years.


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WEEE Man goes forth to Tandridge District Council

Some people have contacted the recycling team asking where WEEE Man has been just lately as they haven’t heard about any of his exploits? Well, when he’s not helping Lewisham Council with their Clean and Green programme in schools, teaching children about the importance of recycling electronic equipment or going off to the Lords Mayor’s Show like he did last year   http://goo.gl/Qh7G0v he’s helping other local authorities.

WEEE Man goes forth to Tandridge District Council

WEEE Man goes forth to Tandridge District Council

Only this week for example, Tandridge District Council were in need of his services as they were promoting the recycling of electronic waste and textiles. This is more of a mini secondment for our electronic Superhero and we’re more than happy to see the good work he’s doing for Lewisham being spread to borough’s elsewhere to promote the positive recycling message.

Tandridge Council are aided by Lewisham's very own WEEE Man

Tandridge Council are aided by Lewisham’s very own WEEE Man

Christmas isn’t too far away at the moment and is a time when people buy new gadgets, electronic toys, kitchen appliances, radios, TV’s etc. to replace old or faulty items in the house. All we ask is that rather than throw away those old items, why not recycle them using one of our small appliance banks  http://goo.gl/s51s15 or take them to our Reuse and Recycling Centre http://goo.gl/c3FO6b along with any other items that shouldn’t be placed in the refuse and recycling bins.

Everyone needs to recycle textiles and electronics

Everyone needs to recycle textiles and electronics

If the item that you no longer want is still in good working order, why not contact organisations like the British Heart Foundation http://goo.gl/EqB0xf who might take it off your hands and find a new home for it through one of their shops? We’re just pleased to see WEEE Man keeping up the good work and going to wherever his services are required.

 


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Forget Turtle Doves and Leaping Lords – here’s our 12 tips of Christmas……

After three, 1, 2, 3

On the first day of Christmas my true love……..

OK, there’s no need to break into song, but as an alternative to this festive ditty, the Recycle for Lewisham team have done away with swimming swans and piping pipers and are offering our very own 12 tips of Christmas.  These are just a few things that you as a Lewisham resident can do to make your yuletide that bit greener and better for the environment.  So let’s get started…

1. Make sure you have access to a recycling bin over Christmas so that you’re able to recycle all your cans, paper, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed plastics and beverage cartons. You can order a new recycling bin by clicking on the following link: http://goo.gl/UFGktq

Please make good use of your recycling bins during the Christmas period.

Please make good use of your recycling bins during the Christmas period.

2. Transform your Christmas leftovers with these inventive roast turkey sandwich ideas.

Loving food and hating waste. Make good use of that turkey.

Loving food and hating waste. Make good use of that turkey.

Turkey, Cream Cheese and Bacon Sandwich – Smoky bacon and chive cream cheese make this a perfect Boxing Day breakfast or if you are feeling a little healthier, how about making a Turkey, Watercress and Apple Sandwich – Thinly sliced apples lend a crisp sweetness to this tasty treat.

3. Once the presents have been opened, turkey eaten and the Christmas tree is looking a bit bare, remember it can have a new lease of life by taking it to one of 12 Christmas tree drop off points at local parks around the borough where it will be turned into mulch: http://goo.gl/wFk3LE

Please make use of the collection points to recycle your Christmas tree.

Please make use of the collection points to recycle your Christmas tree.

4. Why buy all that expensive wrapping paper when newspaper and magazines will do just the same? Why not add some string and ribbons and a home-made tag as well and be more creative this Christmas.

These are wrapped in newspaper with the addition of some ribbon and nice tags - simple.

These are wrapped in newspaper with the addition of some ribbon and nice tags – simple.

5. Has someone just given you a beautifully wrapped present, with lovely paper and ribbons? Unwrap it carefully and save the paper and decorations to use later!

Wrapping paper and ribbon can be used again.

Wrapping paper and ribbon can be used again.

6. Do you need to make space for all of the new DVDs, CDs and books that you will be receiving this Christmas? Why not donate your old ones to your local charity shop, or if they are a classic titles you can make a bit of cash by selling them at car boot sales or online using sites such as Amazon and Play.com

Sell or giveaway old books and CD's that you no longer want.

Sell or giveaway old books and CD’s that you no longer want.

7. Did you get a Christmas jumper or item of clothing that you can’t see yourself wearing? Not to worry, these can be reused through a charity shop or deposited at one of the many textile banks across the borough:  See locations here:  http://goo.gl/i38qmY

Our textiles banks will take all manner of clean clothes.

Our textile banks will take all manner of clean clothes.

8. Tired of trying to eat up all those left over roasted vegetables after Christmas? Turn it into a delicious soup and freeze it for later – see the link below but remember, you can use all sorts of roasted veg for this! http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipes/roasted-sweet-potato-soup-paprika

Use up all those vegetables by making some lovely soup.

Use up all those vegetables by making some lovely soup.

9. Plan on having cheese platters out at your Christmas parties? Always place out less than what you think is needed and keep the rest in the fridge – you can always top up the plate if needed later. If you’ve got too much left over, you can even freeze cheese either as a whole block or grated… it’s up to you!

Don't eat all your cheese in one go. Store it and use it later.

Don’t eat all your cheese in one go. Store it and use it later.

10. Christmas is the perfect time for getting that compost bin. With all the food preparation that will happening, you’ll need somewhere to deposit all those peelings from the fruit and vegetables.  It could be the start of your New Years resolution to start being greener. The compost bins are free as well: http://goo.gl/ub4Wc6

Mr Compost says 'Come along and learn how to make some good quality compost for your garden.'

Mr Compost says ‘Why not get a compost bin this Christmas and new year and start composting.’

11. Some Christmas cards are too nice to throw away, so why don’t you turn them into gift tags to use the following Christmas. It takes just minutes to do, and with a bit of care they can come out looking every bit as nice as ones you can buy in the shops.

Get those scissors out and start chopping up those cards - in the New Year of course.

Get those scissors out and start chopping up those cards – in the New Year of course.

12. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run. Broken small appliances can be taken to one of our WEEE banks  http://goo.gl/73tm3k  or our Reuse and Recycling Centre:  http://goo.gl/n6NbrO

Batteries can be recycled in libraries and supermarkets across the borough.

Batteries can be recycled in libraries and supermarkets across the borough.


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International use for Lewisham Blog Photo

Two weeks ago we were approached by Australian student, Emerson Brophy, about whether he could use one of our photos in order to design a recycling poster. And being the kind hearted people that we are, we readily agreed. But there was one caveat attached and that was that we got to show off the finished design on our blog.

First here is the original picture:

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment piles up before being processed.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment piles up before being processed.

And here is Emerson’s design:

Recycling Poster FINAL SMALL

I think that everyone will agree that he has done a cracking job. Well done Emerson!!


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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 Hamley@sweeep.co.uk or 01795 434125.  For further information please click on the following link  http://www.sweeep.co.uk/


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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