Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


This page aims to inform residents on what they can and can’t recycle in Lewisham. This mainly covers the recycling collection services we provide. If you live in a street property you should have access to a 240 litre recycling bin. This will be an all green bin or a bin with a grey body with a green lid. If your property is on an estate then there should be large ‘Euro’ bins positioned nearby . Examples of these can be seen below.

Bin images for the blog

We also have bags available to help those living on estate properties. These can be used to bring recyclables to the near communal recycling bins. There are also clear sacks for those properties that cannot house recycling facilities such as flats above shops.  Examples are below.

Clear sacks and Grebs

Please also make sure when you are using all of the above receptacles that the correct items go in them. If you are not sure, please see the information below.

Recycling information for the blog

50 thoughts on “Recycle

  1. VHS Cassettes
    We currently do not offer recycling for old VHS cassettes as they are a very difficult item to recycle and generally you would need specialist companies.

    If they are pre recorded films we would suggest giving them to a charity shop. If they have personal information or memories I would suggest that you should destroy them and put the contents in your refuse bin. Please DO NOT put them in your recycling bin as the tape can seriously damage the machines in the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF).

    So in summary our suggestions would be:

    Pass Them On: offer pre-recorded videos to your local charity shop or on Freecycle – not everyone’s made the switch to DVD and it’s a cheap way for them to pick up entertainment for free/cheap. Some charity shops don’t accept them any more because no one buys them – it differs from shop to shop and between areas.
    Reuse: Crafters have used the tape for crocheting or weaving. The resulting fabric if often used for retro-style bags or purse. Gardeners also use strips of video to deter birds from attacking seedlings.
    Recycle: Some recycling schemes do exist but they tend to be private and only available in a limited area (due to postage/transport costs). Details of some schemes are below.

    If you follow the below links it will give you some more information on the subject:

  2. Too much wasted package in supermarkets.
    Why cannot you not put more pressure on supermarkets to use less package?

    • Hi Wanda,

      Thanks for your comments – I could not agree more!There is far too much packaging on almost everything we consume, from food to electronics.

      As a council we see our role as helping residents to minimise the amount of waste they produce (which includes packaging), by providing them with tips and practical help. We are currently running a campaign called Love Food Hate Waste and are planning a number of activities for Waste Prevention Week in November. There will be more information on the blog, so please sign up to get updates.

      In terms of minimising packaging at supermarkets you are well within your rights to un-package goods at the supermarket checkout for the supermarket to deal with. Obviously this is not solving the root cause of the problem but does make a statement.

      In order to encourage supermarkets to minimise their waste we are part of national bodies such as LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Commitee), who are able to pressure government and write policy responses in much more effective ways than a single Local Authority is able to.

      There is something called the courtauld commitment which is a voluntary agreement aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing the carbon and wider environmental impact of the grocery retail sector. Although this is a significant step the fact that it is voluntary is slightly dissapointing. I would suggest that if this is something you feel very passionately about you could write to your MP,

      I hope this helps!

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  7. Can I recycle paper envelops with address windows? Or do I need to rip the window out?

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  10. Hello
    Please can you let me know what is the best way to dispose of old duvets?

    • Hi Nicola

      I’m sure you’ve tried the textile banks and realised that they don’t take them. Another option could be charity shops if clean or local animal centres for dog bedding. Celia Hammonds in Lewisham may take it, their number is 0208 691 2100 or try the PDSA in New Cross, their number is 0208 691 0577



  11. Hello. I’ve a lot of ploystyrene packaging chips after Christmas deliveries. Where should I dispose of them, please?


  12. I always bring my shopping bags to my local shops but even with the bags placed on the checkout they still try to give me more plastic bags. I repeatedly have to say that I don’t need them.

    Any chance a “local shop” campaign could be done to encourage shop keepers to ask if one is needed rather than automatically reaching to give one even if only buying a small pack of biscuits?

    • Hi Alan,

      Over the years Lewisham Council have given away hundreds of cotton shopping bags at events by way of encouraging residents to use them instead taking more plastic bags from shops.

      A lot of people do use these bags when out shopping locally and some local supermarkets are getting used to people bringing their own bags now. But whilst that might be the case, I know many people still like to take the odd free carrier home as they make good bin liners so I guess they do get another use and they can still be recycled.


  13. Hi

    Can you tell me where I can get some of the Green Garden Waste bags please. I picked one up free a few years ago at a Lewisham Community events and was wondering if you still provided these bags free of charge.

  14. Help in your own little way.

  15. I practice recycling daily by avoiding using plastics!

  16. If you haven’t heard yet, there is a wonderful organisation called Freegive ( ). Freegive connects people who are giving and getting unwanted items for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse, recycle and keeping good stuff out of landfills. It’s completely free to join.

  17. Vinyl Records – can they be recycled by Lewisham Council, or do they need to go into landfull?



    • Hi Jim,

      From a recycling viewpoint, we would suggest using charity shops or freecycle so that the vinyl can at least be reused. There are lots of charity shops in Lewisham High Street.


      • Thanks, but most of them came from Charity Shops in the first place, in the 90s… and I’m only getting rid of the really poor ones that – honestly – no one could want. Are they not able to be reconstituted into a useful material?


  18. Is it possible to recycle old bicycle tyres? If so, where?

  19. Can we put the pump from a liquid soap bottle in the recycling bin?

  20. hi i m scrap dealer
    all scrap

  21. Wonderful, good post and information, let me tell my friends inside fb.

  22. does one have to phone to get our 2 bags of garden waste collected
    is there an email one can use

  23. In the leaflet I have at home it says that I can also put clingflim and plastic bags in my recycling bin. In the past I’ve only put in thin plastic bags with the PET or HDPE symbol, does the leaflet mean that I can put all plastic bags in (PP)? Including bread bags (LDPE)? Thanks.

    • A general rule of thumb would be to simply follow the information on the stickers on the bins. That way we can keep any items out if there is doubt about it. Thanks

  24. Our recycling bins in armoury road near network rail are always over flowing this week is terrible and I know I’ve picked normal rubbish off the topvof it and thrown it in other bin yes some people are lazy! This week I have to throw recycling in the bin as there is no space! Also a while back we got leaflets saying we could have the green bags to bring it down still no sign of them?

  25. Can we request recycling boxes rather than recycling wheelie bins from the council?
    There are only two of us and a very small front garden which is totally dominated by a big black wheelie bin and a big green wheelie bin. Although we recycle a lot our green wheelie bin is only ever about 15% full (and the black bin only about 10% full) so a recycling box would be much better for us. How do we swap to them/request one from the Council?

  26. 50 Mayow Road – lets hope someone reads this as I have tried many ways to tell you that you have delivered TWO brown bins to this address! We will leave the extra one outside as no matter how enthusiastic we are about gardening we cannot use two bins – one is a marvellous addition! thanks . “Monty Don fans!”

  27. How can I order a replacement lid or bin for our neighbour. We keep getting their recycling in our garden, and the foxes frequently loot the bin for anything that’s been in contact with food.

  28. Hi,
    i’m about to move to the council and not sure on how does recycling works here in Lewisham compared to Bromley: i’m used to have a food waste bin, general waste, plastic (including tetrapak, metal tins and glass) and a paper bo….browsing the website i understand here we have 2 bins only: general waste and recycling, specially about the second: does everythiing goes mixed in the same bin?
    thank you

  29. got about 30 to 40 bags of old clothes , blankets and sheets is there anyone that would come and pick them up? in catford , all my grandads old clothes ect would do for anyone elderly

  30. I have run out of the clear recycling sacks that Lewisham issue for those people who are in flats that cannot use green bins. I ordered more over 3 months ago and still have not received any. I am having to use black sacks to take the recycling out and these dont get pick up in the recycling collection meaning that I cant actually recycle anything! Is there a quicker easier way to get hold of these clear sacks?

  31. A question about recycling… My block of flats does not provide any recycling bins. The flats opposite have a large green recycling bin. Is this for public use or for those residents only? I would really like to be able to recycle my waste! Thank you.

  32. Hi I have 5 down pillows to recycle. I’m not sure what I can do which is most environmentally friendly. Can you help? Thanks

  33. Due to the Council’s total incompetence in collecting the recycling and responding to my requests for collection I have now requested that my green bin is taken away.

  34. Is this some form of official Lewisham Council blog? If so, it should be clearly stated at the top. Maybe no one even monitors it now…?

    Can I recycle bubblewrap? I have seen on these pages that I can, but why is it not mentioned on the Lewisham recycle page? Similarly I see on an old blog page here that I can recycle CD’s, yet when I contact LBC they say I cannot.

    Also, can I recycle plastic film that has paper stickers stuck to it?

    Someone should really be correlating all these questions and updating a single list on the LBC pages.

  35. Hi, where can I get the Green Recycle Estate Bags? Thanks.

  36. Can I recycle bubble wrap by putting it in my green recycle bin?

  37. What to do will old duvets and pillows

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