Lewisham Recycling & Waste Services are changing

Background
Although ‘recycling’ is cited as the key activity in relation to sustainable waste management, Lewisham operates within a broader regulatory framework. The Waste Hierarchy (shown in this diagram) dictates how we should structure our services and focus attention on those activities at the top of the diagram, with the least amount of waste going for disposal at the bottom of the pyramid.
 
 

 
The Government has stretching recycling targets to recycle and compost 50% by 2020.  Further, there is an increasing requirement to improve the quality as well as the quantity of recycling, and this is partly being facilitated through the Waste Regulations 2012. From 1st January 2015, this piece of legislation required local authorities to separately collect paper, glass, plastics and metal unless it is not necessary to do so, or it is technically, environmentally or economically impractical to do so.
 
Resulting from a number of drivers (listed below under ‘Why are we doing this)’ the Council modelled a number of potential service scenarios and the option approved at Mayor & Cabinet in February 2016 were:
 
o Introduction of a subscription garden waste service;
o Introduction of a weekly food waste service;
o Reduction in the collection frequency of residual waste to fortnightly, and;
o Keeping the recycling collections comingled and weekly.
The introduction of the garden waste service was implemented 2016.
 
 
What are the changes?
 
Lewisham currently provide a weekly collection of the 180ltr black refuse bin and the green 240ltr recycling bin. A garden waste collection service is provided on a weekly basis to residents that have subscribed to the service.
 
The new service will take effect on the 2nd October to Lewisham residents that currently have a wheeled bin collection, except high density red routes. Properties will receive a 23 litre outside food bin and a smaller 5 litre indoor kitchen caddy. An initial supply of biodegradable liners will be provided. Thereafter residents will need to purchase liners from supermarkets. The following items can be disposed of in the food caddy:
 
 Meat and fish – raw and cooked including bones
 Fruit and vegetables – raw and cooked
 All dairy products such as eggs and cheese
 Bread, cakes and pastries
 Rice, pasta and beans
 Uneaten food from your plates and dishes
 Tea bags and coffee grounds
 Nut shells
 
The 180ltr Black refuse bin will be collected fortnightly. The Green recycling bin will remain the same with a weekly collection and for residents that have subscribed to the garden waste collection service their brown bin will continue to be collected weekly.
 
Under exceptional circumstances we may consider replacing a standard 180ltr black wheelie bin for a larger 240ltr wheelie bin.
 
Why are we doing this?
 
Our future services need to reflect and respond to present and future waste regulations as well as our citizen’s interest in recycling. As such there are a number of drivers for change, which are detail below
 
Improved Environmental Performance Lewisham’s recycling rate is one of the lowest in the country and by changing the services that are offered could have a significant impact on reducing waste in the first instance, increasing the amount that is recycled or composted and reducing the carbon footprint of waste and recycling collected and disposed of.
 
There are a number of benefits to recycling more than we currently do, including reducing the amount of waste sent to incineration, conserving natural resources such as wood, water and minerals, and preventing pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials. Lewisham does have a good range of materials that can be recycled, however, not all residents are using the services to their full potential. There could also be significant gains both in performance and environmental impact on collecting food waste. By the very nature of collecting food waste people often see how much is being wasted and change their habits to reduce their waste accordingly. Further, collecting food waste produces biogas providing a source of renewable energy that is carbon neutral and a fertiliser rich in nitrogen.
 
Financial – The financial drivers are around the need to make savings in the current budget climate, whilst at the same time running effective and efficient services.
 
Reductions in government funding, combined with increased costs of collection and disposal and a volatile recyclable market has significantly increased pressure on waste budgets in recent years.
 
 
Legislation –   There are two key regulations in the Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, as detailed below:
 
Regulation 12 – places an ongoing requirement for local authorities to apply the waste hierarchy;
 
Regulation 13 – from 1 January 2015, waste collection authorities must collect waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately and imposes a duty on waste collection authorities, from that date, when making arrangements for the collection of such waste, to ensure that those arrangements are by way of separate collection. These duties apply where separate collection is necessary (the Necessity Test) to ensure that waste undergoes recovery operations in accordance with the directive and to facilitate or improve recovery; and where it is technically, environmentally and economically practicable (The TEEP Test).
 
Future waste planning- The SELCHP Energy from Waste (EfW) contract ends in early 2024. The contract prices for EfW tend to be much higher than other forms of waste treatment and with a growing population potentially producing more waste and recycling, it is necessary to explore all options for managing waste and recycling effectively and efficiently.
 
The new services will contribute towards delivering the council’s corporate and sustainable community priorities, especially in respect of ‘clean, green and liveable’ and ‘inspiring efficiency, effectiveness and equity’
 
Who will be affected?
 
The service will be provided to 80,000 kerbside properties who currently receive a wheeled bin collection service. Some parts of the borough will be kept on a weekly refuse service following a review of the streets in the borough and their eligibility for fortnightly refuse.
 
How will residents know about the changes?
 
A comprehensive communication strategy is in place with available resources for communication, community engagement and monitoring activities.
 
• The Lewisham website will be updated informing resident of the change in service plus pop up boxes on all pages.
• Posters will be displayed around the borough on JC Decaux boards, surgeries and libraries.
• Social media will be used to advertise and inform residents of the changes on a weekly basis.
• Information will be published in the Lewisham Life magazine and the press.
• Enewsletters will be sent to over 35,000 residents at different times during the implementation process.
• A letter will be sent to all kerbside properties.
• Postcards will be handed out at the Reuse & Recycling centre.
• Road Shows will be held during September at Deptford, Lewisham, Catford and Sydenham
• Bin tags will be used to inform residents in advance of the start date
• Waste Advisers will engage with residents
• Leaflets to all kerbside properties

Do you know someone needing a little help staying warm this winter #Catford

We can help people identified as vulnerable to the cold and at risk of fuel poverty to stay warm and healthy during the colder months.

If you are concerned about a neighbour or relative or you are a health professional dealing with vulnerable groups, contact Lewisham Council.
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Borrow a bike for £10 from @LewishamCouncil

Are you thinking about taking up cycling? Whether it’s for fun, fitness or you just want an easy way to get around, there’s lots of help available to get you back in the saddle.

And if you live, work or study in Lewisham, finding out if cycling suits you has never been easier.

For only £10 you can borrow a quality bike for a month. We include a helmet, bike lock and high visibility vest so you’re ready to ride. And if, at the end of the month, you want to buy your bike, we can offer some great discounts.
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Thames Water Freebies

BRILLIANT Freebies from Thames Water

Thames Water are giving away a range of freebies from shower heads to garden hoses, and all of which help us save water.

There are eight great freebies that you can order for free from Thames Water all designed to help us be more water efficient.

To get your Freebie just visit: http://freebies.thameswater.co.uk

Living Standards and Wages crash under Tory Government

Osbourne says that the Torys saved the economy, but the average person is £1,500 worse off now than in 2010

Osbourne says that the Torys saved the economy, but the average person is £1,500 worse off now than in 2010

under the first 37 of 38 months under Camerson real Wages have fallen

under the first 37 of 38 months under Camerson real Wages have fallen

Since 2010, the rise in wages has been outstripped by the rise in rent

Since 2010, the rise in wages has been outstripped by the rise in rent

The rise in the cost of Heating our homes has been significantly higher than wages

The rise in the cost of Heating our homes has been significantly higher than wages

Cities Are the Future of Human Evolution

From io9

Humans began to live in urban settlements about 7 thousand years ago. As humans continued to evolve over the millennia, so too did our cities. Now, our cities are about to change again — and they’re going to look more like ancient Machu Picchu than the gleaming towers of glass and steel we have today.

Illlustration by Olga Idealist on Deviant Art

As any urban dweller can tell you, the one thing that’s constant in city life is change. Buildings rise up and are torn down; parks bloom out of old train tracks; swimming pools become ice rinks that become arcades and then turn into Whole Foods. For this reason, urban historian Spiro Kostof calls the city a “process.” Cities change with the peoples that live in them, but they are also a repository of history. Even as we relentlessly build new structures, we prefer to remain in these old places where we can live in what’s left of cities and cultures that are hundreds or even thousands of years gone.

Early Cities

Some of the earliest cities, in regions that are now called Turkey, Syria and Peru, were probably built at roughly the same time that humans were developing agriculture. As anthropologist Elizabeth Stone has found, many of the earliest city jobs probably involved farming. In the Mesopotamian cities she studies, people worked in orchards and farms just outside the city walls. These farmers built their homes from mud and brick, and as buildings crumbled into dust, they built new ones on top of the old.

As a result, many of these early cities eroded into mounds of earth over time. But even in their heyday, they would have probably looked a bit like clay boxes atop an earthen mound, surrounded by the plants, trees, and dairy animals that their inhabitants cultivated.

Like the people of the Middle East, the groups who later became the Inca in South America also built cities as an extension of their farms. Living as they did in a mountainous, coastal region, the Inca’s forebears and the Inca themselves had to create agricultural technologies on nearly vertical landscapes. They learned which crops could thrive in valleys, and which would survive in terraced farms that looked like vast steps cut into the slopes of their mountain cities. And they experimented with elaborate irrigation systems that relied on gravity to bring water to their farms.

Is the City Evolving Too Fast?

Over time, many early farm cities grew into political city-states, were swallowed by nations, and eventually became powerhouses for the nineteenth century industrial revolution. Of course many early cities simply died out, and new cities were built that suited emerging forms of human social organization. For most of human history, however, the city was an aberration: the majority of people lived in villages and other small communities.

All that changed in the twenty-first century. In 1800, according to estimates made by the UN, only 3 percent of the world’s population lived in cities. Today, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, and by 2050 the UN estimates that will be more like 67 percent. In developed countries, that percentage will be higher.

Homo sapiens is evolving into an urban species. Already, our genomes have been transformed by one development associated with city growth: agriculture. The genes that allow adults to process the lactose in milk from farm animals have spread like wildfire through the population in under 10,000 years — probably because of the tremendous survival advantage in being able to eat the products of animal husbandry.

Still, city life sometimes feels much too crazy and complex for simple hominins like ourselves. Have our own urban creations evolved more quickly than we have? The answer is no. As evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk has argued:

Neither we nor any other species have ever been a seamless match with the environment. Instead, our adaptation is more like a broken zipper, with some teeth that align and others that gape apart.
Just because our urban environments don’t always feel perfectly comfortable doesn’t mean they aren’t also part of our our ongoing process of adaptation. As I said earlier, the city reflects both human history and our present state. It’s a process, always transforming, but always reflecting who humans are — and who we are becoming.

The Cities of Tomorrow

Now that the majority of humans live in cities, we’re going to be confronting a new set of problems in urban life. For one thing, natural disasters in cities can cause much greater numbers of fatalities than in sparse, rural communities. So the cities of tomorrow will need to be robust against many kinds of disaster, from earthquakes and floods, to radiation bombardment. It’s possible that many cities will built partly under ground, and partly under water. They might even be built inside a single building surrounded by farms. Not only will such structures allow us to conserve space, but layers of earth and water are excellent protection against radiation.

Illustration via Brisbane Architecture Blog

How to grow a biological city of the future

Many future-minded designers and architects believe that cities of the future will survive these kinds of disasters partly by changing the materials we use to build. Instead of dead trees, we’ll use living ones, combined with genetically modified algae and other plants that could purify water and air, as well as provide energy. In a recent book, Rachel Armstrong has described what she calls “living architecture,” where cities are built with semi-living materials that can repair their own cracks and heal themselves when damaged by a quake or just regular wear and tear. She proposes rescuing Venice from drowning by engineering a living reef underneath the city. It would be made with calcium-extruding protocells that latch onto the city’s existing piles, strengthening them and attracting living creatures whose shells will eventually turn into a true ocean reef.

Infographic by Steph Fox. Click to expand.

Is this the city of the future?
A century ago, we imagined futuristic cities full of hulking, steel buildings, their towers… Read…
New York architect David Benjamin has been working on similar ideas with his students at NYU, and with a bio-architecture group called The Living. He told me that he imagines cities of the future could look something like ancient ruins. Modified vines and molds would cover the tall buildings, producing clean water and energy. Their walls would be bumpy and scarred from years of self-healing materials doing their work. But beneath that organic exterior, the city would be humming with smart technologies that allow buildings to communicate with the grid minute-by-minute, modifying how much energy they’re sipping to suit the needs of their residents.

How We’ll Live in a Future Where Cities Have Become Forests
Tomorrow’s cities may be constructed partly out of living materials that produce energy… Read…
In a century, many cities may resemble early urban settlements in another way, too. They’ll be ringed by farms. Urban farming is a movement that is just taking hold in many places, from Havana to Vancouver, but it’s not just about growing food in your backyard. It’s about replacing suburbs with small, sustainable farms that yield a diversity of crops. These farms can cut down on the costs of importing food, and help make cities as self-sustaining as possible. Driving your electric car between futuristic cities might involve taking a long, elevated road over forests.

But the road to these future cities is complicated, and could involve a strange new merger between synthetic biology, city planning, and design. Cities will evolve along with humanity, and humanity for its part will make cities more like living organisms.

Boris bids to make London an electricity supplier

London Mayor Boris Johnson has put in a bid to enable London’s small energy producers to sell energy back to the grid.

If successful, the move is expected to boost the capital’s small energy producers and help encourage low carbon electricity generation methods.

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