Council meetings

Agenda item

Food Waste and Recycling


Cllr Bonavia explained that Lewisham does not have a particularly good recycling period and that currently the borough has simple weekly collection process of recyclable and non-recyclable waste. The changes will involve new measures and Michael Bryan Group Service Manager Environment and Waste will explain these changes.

Michael Bryan told the meeting that anyone who currently has their own rubbish and recycling wheelie bins (mostly those who live in a house or a flat in a converted house) will get a small food waste bin to go alongside their other bins and a smaller kitchen caddy for food waste. This is a brand-new weekly collection service and is free of charge.

Collections of non-recyclable rubbish will switch to fortnightly for most properties and there will be some changes to collection days. Recycling collections will remain weekly.

Everyone affected will get a letter explaining the changes and confirming the start date and instructions on how to use the new service.

We will continue to collect your recycling every week.

Alongside these changes, the garden waste collections service continues. You can sign up for £60 for weekly collections until the end of March 2018.


The food waste recycling service will make it easier for you to recycle more waste. We want to increase recycling rates to help make Lewisham a greener borough and to work towards the Government’s target to recycle 50% of waste nationally by 2020. At the moment 38% of rubbish in black bins is food waste. If you recycle and compost or use the garden waste collection service, only 11% of rubbish you produce needs to go in the black bin.


Q If the food and garden waste is mixed then why separate bins?

A This is because some individuals pay for a garden service, but you can mix it if you have a garden bin.


Q Where we share bins in flats, I am not sure how we will cope with fortnight collections and more bins will create less space and the wind may blow them over and create a health hazard.

A These are lockable so they will stop the foxes and we will have waste advisors out and about.


Q What is the predicted increase in recycling?

A We are looking to increase this by about 25% and change peoples’ behaviour.


Q Can people wrap waste in newspaper?

A We are discussing this with the contractor at present.


Q If it starts in July people may be away and miss their new bins and the information about what to do.

A We will have waste advisors to help people


Q What about commercial waste in the village. This is a big problem throughout the day with huge mountains of waste outside shops and restaurants, what is the collection process, are there agreed times to collect?

A There is a time zone Mon –Tue 6am-10am and then 4pm – 7pm. On Wed-Fri it is 6am-10pm and then 11pm – 4am. This is about enforcement and we are aware that this happens.


Cllr Bonavia – We will look at this and try to do some enforcement. Some retailers use non-council collections, but the waste should still not be left out. If you notice these issues please do report them.


Q What about nappies?

A We are developing a policy so that people can contact us and liaise with our waste advisors about having a larger bin.