Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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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 This includes white goods, smaller electrical items such as kettles and outdated IT equipment.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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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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Digital Switched Over

On Wednesday 13th June Lewisham Council’s Recycling Team in partnership with The Lewisham Pensioners Forum organised and collected obsolete TVs from elderly residents in the Borough.

The collection was set up because the LP Forum identified the aftermath of the Digital Switch Over as being a real concern for some of their members. The collection was offered to any forum member who was unable to dispose of an obsolete TV themselves, whether due to mobility issues or because they had no one else in their lives who was able to help them.

Setting off bright and early in a Lewisham Transit Van the Recycling Team visited 26 different locations from all over the Borough before taking their bounty to The Reuse and Recycling Centre at Landmann Way in New Cross. The collections took all day, but luckily the roads were clear and everybody had their TVs removed on time (pretty much!) The final haul consisted of:

  • 46 TVs
  • 30 Household Batteries
  • 16 Remote Controls
  • 3 TV Stands
  • 2 VHS Players
  • 1 DVD Player
  • 1 CD Player

All electrical waste (WEEE) is removed from The Reuse and Recycling Centre by REPIC. They are the largest WEEE producer compliance scheme in the UK, and they ensure that all of the electrical items that are taken to Landmann Way are responsibly recycled.

If you would like further details on TV recycling and the Digital Switch Over please click here.

Please click here to go the Lewisham Pensioners Forum website.


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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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Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Recycle for Lewisham have put together some tips and hints on how you can have a great Christmas and be good to the environment. This will of course involve the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

There are many aspects of green thinking to consider when it comes to Christmas. For example, where to shop, what to buy and the type of Christmas tree to get and from where to get it amongst many others. Most of these decisions will have some impact on the environment.

Having a Green Christmas ©Digitalart

The following list is a bit of a guide and may help with some of those Christmas decisions,

  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://ow.ly/7GNlb . As well as these there are other markets and farmers markets to consider, more details can be found on the following link http://ow.ly/7GNoI 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.
  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.
  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 https://recycleforlewisham.com/2011/02/11/small-appliance-banks/
  1. Finally, if you’re not fully committed to the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, why not make 2012 the time to start. Your recycling will even generate an income for the Council.

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 2011 and look forward to their support in 2012.


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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.