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Changes to Lewisham refuse collection services
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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #21
18-04-2016 02:14 PM

Jane2, there is a battery recycling bin in the Forest Hill Sainsburys. It is next to the battery section.

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #22
19-04-2016 10:13 AM

Thanks Londondrz that's useful to know (that battery bin isn't listed on the Batteryback map that Lewisham gives)

Metal is another issue. I often have small metal items to dispose of and I don't want to put it in my grey bin. We used to get vans driving around that would collect metal but I haven't seen them recently. I would have thought this would be something that the Council would want to collect as it is valuable!

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samuelsen


Posts: 280
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #23
19-04-2016 11:21 AM

I have emailed Sam Kirk at Lewisham Council recycling and am awaiting answers to the questions I raised.

When Sam replies I will post her responses.

This post was last modified: 19-04-2016 11:25 AM by samuelsen.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #24
19-04-2016 12:27 PM

Hi Jane2, the price of metal has gone through the floor so unless you have lead or copper (or gold!) there is little you can do apart from the tip or recycle bin. Small items of metal can go in the recycle bin. Larger items I should imagine the council can assist with.

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #25
19-04-2016 12:40 PM

Ah that would explain why the scrap metal vans don't come round anymore! You used to see them raiding people's skips.

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Erekose


Posts: 555
Joined: May 2010
Post: #26
19-04-2016 01:34 PM

The metal pixies are alive and well especially at weekends.. We recently disposed of an old radiator and miscellaneous other pieces of metal by placing them beside our bins - they had gone in half a day. Best one ever was the removal of a very rusty BBQ.
We have always assumed that the recycling centre extracts all kinds of metal from the recycled refuse so continue to add small pieces of copper pipe etc. to our green bin.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #27
19-04-2016 02:15 PM

A very cunning way of getting rid of something is to put a price on it. We left 2 radiators just inside our property with a sign saying "free". No takers in a week. So I changed it to "£10 each". They went overnight Laugh

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 511
Joined: May 2012
Post: #28
19-04-2016 02:37 PM

Quote:
A very cunning way of getting rid of something is to put a price on it.

That's genius, Londondrz! I know it's a publishing trick sometimes - put a price of £195 on a piece of research and then give it away for free to "specially selected" readers - but on a radiator? Brilliant!

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samuelsen


Posts: 280
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #29
20-04-2016 07:40 PM

Answers received from the questions asked of the Council.

If the Council reduce collections to every fortnight, the grey bin will be over flowing and will not hold two weeks of rubbish, what are we supposed to do?
The Council has undertaken waste compositional analysis and if everyone recycles all they can correctly, participates in the new food and garden waste services, then the black bin for the remainder of the waste should be sufficient for a collection every two weeks.

How do the Council intend to deal with the increased vermin issues these changes will result in?
It isn’t anticipated that there will be an increased vermin issue and the element that may cause vermin issues i.e. food waste, will still be collected weekly. The food waste will be contained in lockable containers so that if they do get knocked over, the food won’t escape as long as the bin has been stored in the locked position.


What saving is the Council expecting to make, as they will have twice as much rubbish to collect every fortnight?
The financial model for all waste and recycling services have been taken as a whole. The cost of providing the current service is between £7.8m and £8.2m, depending on the recycling market, which is volatile and based on global secondary commodities markets. Using the same methodology as the current service the new services are estimated to cost between £7.1 and £8.2m. Therefore the new services can still be met from existing budgets.

Was it not short sighted to remove and issue the smaller rubbish bins?
The Council has undertaken waste compositional analysis and if everyone recycles all they can correctly, participates in the new food and garden waste services, then the black bin for the remainder of the waste should be sufficient for a collection every two weeks.

What are the bin men going to do on the week they do not do the collection? Are they going part time?
The collection operatives will have a range of collections to make including collecting the refuse and recycling, as well as collecting waste from the new food and garden waste services. As such the operatives won’t be working part time.

Where are we supposed to keep the food waste bin?
The food waste bin is small (27 litres compared to the 240 litre or 180 litre bins that people currently have) and won’t take up much additional space. Some people may choose to store the food bin in their house and put it out on collection day, whilst others may store it in their front or back gardens.


What are the cost savings for the food waste?
The financial model for all waste and recycling services have been taken as a whole. The cost of providing the current service is between £7.8m and £8.2m, depending on the recycling market, which is volatile and based on global secondary commodities markets. Using the same methodology as the current service the new services are estimated to cost between £7.1 and £8.2m. Therefore the new services can still be met from existing budgets.

What will be the frequency of the food waste collection?
The frequency of the food waste collection will be weekly.

Will the food waste result in an additional collection every week/every other week?
The food waste will be an additional collection every week.


Will the third collection result in additional vehicles solely for the food collection waste?
A couple of options are currently being considered for the disposal of the food waste and this will dictate the type of vehicle that will be used for the collection.


What are the Council going to do if I do not wish to participate in the food waste collection?
The Council has no plans to make this compulsory.

Have the Council not heard of the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it"?
The Council’s recycling rate is the lowest in the country.
The Council needs to increase the amount that it recycles to help contribute to the Government’s target of 50% recycling by 2020. If the Council doesn’t help contribute to this target it could face fines from Central Government.


If the Council are going to reduce the overall waste collection service, how much are the council going to reduce the council tax as they are changing the service?
The Council has amended the way in which waste and recycling will be collected to meet objectives in a number of key areas, including improving environmental performance and being more efficient in what it does with the budget available. Two additional services are being implemented, food and garden waste, and as such there will be no reduction in Council Tax.

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Devonish Forester


Posts: 62
Joined: Nov 2015
Post: #30
20-04-2016 08:38 PM

Hello Samuelsen

Thanks for asking the questions and sharing the answers.

I am puzzled about why Lewisham has lower recycling than other boroughs - "the lowest in the country" - and what the reason is for this. Does the Council have any ideas about this? Is it anything to do with Lewisham having a high provision of social housing, and perhaps some of the larger estates having no recycling facilities for residents?

What would it cost us to keep weekly collections? An extra 50 pence per week? I am not looking forward to additional collections for the various kinds of waste, and if you happen to miss your fortnightly collection, your rubbish will remain uncollected for a month, rather than a fortnight.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #31
20-04-2016 10:28 PM

Quote:
I am puzzled about why Lewisham has lower recycling than other boroughs - "the lowest in the country" - and what the reason is for this


Great question. This document suggests a possible answer but without knowing whether they achieved anything, the figures I posted earlier only go up to 2014, it is hard to know whether it is correct or not:
http://metalmatters.org.uk/wp-content/up...WISHAM.pdf

Quote:
The London Borough of Lewisham has a recycling rate of
17% and is home to 122,000 households, with numbers
rising exponentially. Just under 40,000 residences are
made up of large estate properties and tower blocks, with
communal recycling bins located externally, and often
incorporating a chute system for disposal of residual waste.
As a result, low participation and contamination of bins have
proved problematic for recycling services.

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Ligersaur


Posts: 60
Joined: Sep 2014
Post: #32
20-04-2016 10:52 PM

I live in a development with communal bins (they are large industrial bins).

There are multiple bins for normal (non-recycling) waste. The top can be lifted up and bin bags put in. You can fill a normal kitchen bin and take the bag out to the large bins very easily.

There is a single bin for recycling, but the top flap is padlocked and the only opening is similar to a large post box slot built into the lid. You have to individually enter items for recycling into the bin -- the slot is far too small for items in any kind of bag. This means that items for recycling have to be collected in the residence in a large open container and taken to the recycling bin and fed in one-by-one. Recycling is made far more difficult than not recycling by the council.

I assume that the large flats in Lambeth may have similar recycling bins, which actively discourage recycling. In comparison, in Lewisham supplied translucent orange bags that were used to collect recycling and those bags could be tied and deposited in the recycling bins.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #33
20-04-2016 11:25 PM

Thanks for posting the answers to your questions Samuelsen.

I'll take time to have a look tomorrow.

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #34
21-04-2016 08:16 AM

devonish Wrote:
I am puzzled about why Lewisham has lower recycling than other boroughs - "the lowest in the country" - and what the reason is for this. Does the Council have any ideas about this? Is it anything to do with Lewisham having a high provision of social housing, and perhaps some of the larger estates having no recycling facilities for residents?

Although Lewisham has one of the lowest rate of recycling, it has one of the lowest rates of landfill (reference from 2011). Most rubbish is turned into electricity at the incinerator.

I would be fascinated to understand better which is actually better for the environment; incineration of food and garden waste to create electricity or whatever it is that they do with it when they recycle it.

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Devonish Forester


Posts: 62
Joined: Nov 2015
Post: #35
21-04-2016 08:38 AM

Quote:
Most rubbish is turned into electricity at the incinerator.


Surely that IS recycling and needs to be included in the recycling statistics. If the South East London Combined Heat and Power plant is burning rubbish originating from other Boroughs, Lewisham should be acquiring recycling 'points' for that - similar to a carbon trading system. If Lewisham is burning waste from Westminster, Kensington, City of London etc. that would otherwise go into landfill, that needs recognition.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #36
21-04-2016 08:39 AM

Quote:
I would be fascinated to understand better which is actually better for the environment; incineration of food and garden waste to create electricity or whatever it is that they do with it when they recycle it.


Another great question. Would also need to consider the environmental impact of incineration + generation (SELCHP) vs landfill. I suspect the type of material being recycled will be pertinent too so probably not an easy question to answer.

Call me a cynic, if you will, but worthy though these questions are, I suspect that the council is more concerned with which mix of options will save money. Is it cheaper to use SELCHP than recycle the same waste? I think it may be but would love to see some figures.

This post was last modified: 21-04-2016 08:42 AM by lacb.

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #37
21-04-2016 10:17 AM

lacb Wrote:
I suspect that the council is more concerned with which mix of options will save money

That would be reasonable. What really worries me is that the council are being driven by being seen as low on the list of recycling, when they may actually be doing really good work by generating electricity.

It may be that rural councils which have resisted incinerators are being rewarded, while Lewisham is being penalised for actually having an incinerator that does good (although I've heard that the Combined Heat part has never actually been operational to heat local houses, so it isn't quite as efficient as it could be). Or it may be that policy is being determined purely by positions of league tables rather than the reality of waste disposal in the borough.

Unfortunately as the answers given to Samuelsen show, we are unlikely to get a straight answer from the council or anybody else.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #38
21-04-2016 10:42 AM

Having sat down and looked at this rationally I think it would work, for us. Two green bins, one black bin and the brown bin. Not sure about the food waste bin, thats a new one to me. OK, not ideal having four bins sitting outside our house but if it works and the green waste is used properly while the recyclate is used properly then I don't have an issue.

However, we have a large front yard and although four bins may not be aesthetically pleasing we can live with it. Question is, those houses with very small or no front yards that have been converted into flats. Where do their bins go?

Will FH now be known as Forest (lots of bins on the pavement) Hill?

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Poppy9560


Posts: 273
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #39
21-04-2016 05:16 PM

that's all very well but I have a small flat with a tiny kitchen so no room for a food waste container, and my wheelie bin sits on the path between my block and the next one along with 3 others-there's certainly no room for any more, the green wheelie bin for recycling lives on the pavement!

It looks as if the council really haven't thought this through

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Devonish Forester


Posts: 62
Joined: Nov 2015
Post: #40
26-04-2016 08:16 AM

Quote:
What really worries me is that the council are being driven by being seen as low on the list of recycling, when they may actually be doing really good work by generating electricity.


Yes, agreed, and without knowing more about how the recycling statistics were produced, I am sceptical about the data. What do the statistics actually show?

Is the total volume of non-recycled waste for every borough compared with the total volume of recycled waste? How would that be quantified? Would it be weighed? Or do they count the number of full compactor trucks per household? Over what period is/was the data gathered?

If the total waste is not being weighed or measured in some way, then are the statistics based on sampling? A 100 households chosen in each borough? Over what period? Were the selected households typical, and a reasonable comparison with the samples selected in other boroughs? Does each borough do the research or is it done by central government?

It seems crucial to understand the methodology. Once the methodology is understood it would then be important to check the calculations. It would not be the first time that policy and planning has been based on incorrect calculations - one number in the wrong column of a spreadsheet could potentially affect everyone's waste collection for no reason at all!

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