Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Well, no posts for ages, then three at once! I'm watching Watchdog (for my sins) and they've just had a feature on doorstep recycling. They looked at the system in Kingston, and it looks very complicated indeed! So I thought I would write a post praising Lewisham council for once! We have one bin for recycling, the same size as our normal bin. We can throw anything that Lewisham can recycle in there, and they can recycle most things. If they added Tetrapak to their list I'd be very happy!

On top of that (at the moment) we have both normal and recycling collections on a weekly basis, which is great. Means that rubbish doesn't pile up too much. And, we had the brown bin trial for garden waste. We found this really useful and I hope it's something the council carry on with.

So well done Lewisham. Keep it up and let's hope some other local authorities follow your lead!


kate said...

Hi Clare, we are lucky that one thing lewisham is good at is the recycling...think that its mostly down to the hard work of Nigel at Love lewisham
I hope they dont bow down to these people wanting fortnightly refuse collections.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you live, but there are some tetrapak 'bring' bins in the borough now, including behind Laurence House in Catford. You can probably find a list of locations on the council website. I think there's one in Lewisham town centre, too.

It's good to hear you made good use of the trial green waste bin. It's worth remembering that this was only put into place as the result of a Green Party amendment to the Mayor's budget this year. We should find out soon if it will be rolled out to the rest of the borough.

On Kate's point that Lewisham is good at recycling, it's good that the system is simple, but it's still the case that Lewisham has one of the lowest recycling rates in London, partly because it sends so much waste to be burned at the incinerator.

Andrew Brown said...

Clare, your anonymous commentator makes a couple of contentious comments that I can't help but respond to:

1) The garden waste may have been a Green Party amendment to the council's budget, but it was also a Labour manifesto pledge, something I'm sure the Green councillors would have the grace to acknowledge.

2) I've never seen any evidence that the way that we dispose of residual waste has any impact on recycling rates. I know that there's a section of the political spectrum that seem to think that incineration is "the devil's work", but it does have the benefit of coming above landfilling in the waste hierarchy (meaning it's better for the environment). And almost all of the waste that goes through the incinerator is recycled too (although that doesn't count towards Lewisham's recycling figures).

kate said...

ok anon, i do not know facts and figures but with my own eyes i see recyling bins and posters promoting them everywhere, the fact that Lewisham gets awards and is noted all over the country for love lewisham speaks volumes. Not saying everythings perfect as i think people know my thoughts. But I recycle and its helped that lewisham have made it easy.

Clare Griffiths said...

Thanks for the comments all. Anon - I know there are some tetrapak bring bins, but if we want to meet targets the best way to do it is to provide doorstep recycling. I like many others don't have a huge amount of time on my hands, so anything that makes recycling easier and quicker gets my vote.

I don't know the detail of party manifestos, but I do agree with Andrew that incineration is preferable to landfill.

I agree with Kate that the fact that Lewisham makes it easy to recycle is a good thing, for which it should be praised.

It doesn't of course mean that we don't all need to recycle more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind comments about our recycling services. We are, at last, now meeting our targets! I can't claim credit for this success though. Andrew will know from his experience as Cabinet Member for Environment that we officers have been dragged 'kicking and screaming' into increasing recycling services! Believe it or not, improved recycling services really have been provided by the people you elected. Sure, it is good to be able to deliver what they want, so I'm pleased we've been able to do that!

Best Wishes, Nigel Tyrell. Head of Environment LB Lewisham