Lewisham recycling transformed by new deal

New York City: the year 2000. The most wasteful society in the history of the galaxy and it was running out of places to empty its never-ending output of garbage. The landfills were full. New Jersey was full. And so, under cover of darkness, the city put its garbage out to sea on the world's largest barge. The repulsive barge circled the oceans for 50 years but no country would accept it. Not even that really filthy one. You know the one I mean. Finally, in 2052, the city used its mob connections to obtain a rocket and launch the garbage into outer space. Some experts claim the ball might return to Earth someday, but their concerns were dismissed as "depressing".
- Futurama

Lewisham Council has agreed a new recycling contract which will dramatically improve the borough's recycling performance, allowing residents to recycle everything from crisp packets to clothing. Importantly, it can all go in the same bin, which means our pavements won't be cluttered with even more wheelie bins. They say:

From 5 December a new waste contract for Lewisham means residents will be able to recycle more items than ever before.

Bywaters (Leyton) Ltd was picked following a tendering process during the summer. Their bid offered Lewisham Council an opportunity to expand the range of recyclable items collected from the doorstep, making the process a whole lot easier for those who already recycle and for those that don’t, but want to.

The Bywaters processing plant, located in nearby Bow, has sophisticated sorting systems that can deal with items not previously recyclable in Lewisham. For instance, Tetrapak cartons, crisp packets, shredded paper, perfume bottles, plastic food trays and packaging and aerosols can now all be left in residents’ recycling bins.

Even textiles, such as material and old clothes, that are not suitable for charity shops, can now be recycled from the doorstep.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, is delighted about the new recycling contract: “I’m passionate about recycling and I’m incredibly pleased that this new contract means that we will be able to recycle many more materials.

“It makes it so much easier for people to be able to throw all these extra items into the recycling bin, knowing that more and more will go back into the system to be recycled and reused. It’s all good for the environment and great news for pushing up Lewisham’s recycling rates.”

John S. Glover, Bywaters’ Managing Director continues: “It is a pleasure to have delivered a best in class proposal and qualified through a competitive process. Bywaters delivers tailored solutions to London Boroughs and will work in partnership with Lewisham to increase overall recycling rates”.

While Lewisham’s recycling rates have gone up in recent years - the borough currently recycles 18 per cent of its household waste - the new contract means that the borough’s recycling rates should rise during the three year contract. The Council’s target is to recycle and compost 21 per cent of household waste by 2013/14.

Residents who want to start recycling can order a free recycling bin by calling 020 8314 7171.