Some info from the Council on changing bin collections
Food waste and fortnightly FAQ
What, when, who & why
What is changing?
Residents who currently have their own wheelie bins will be getting a new, free food waste collection service. Their rubbish (black bin) collections will also be changing to fortnightly.
When are the changes happening?
The new services will start in the week beginning 2 October.
Who will be affected?
The changes will affect residents who live in houses or flats in converted houses. Blocks of flats and estates will not be getting the new food waste service, and they will still get weekly collections. Some roads, or properties on roads, are also excluded from the changes as they are either red routes or do not have space for the bins. Find out which roads are excluded.
Why are rubbish and recycling collections changing?
Because we listen to residents. In 2015 67% of residents asked for a food waste service and 94% thought it was important to recycle more.
To increase recycling rates. When we recycle we use fewer natural resources, which helps the environment. 38% of rubbish in black bins is food waste which the new service will enable you to recycle with your food waste bin.
To save the Council money. We expect the changes to waste and recycling services will deliver a £500,000 annual saving in the coming years.
What about recycling and garden waste?
We will still collect your recycling every week. Check www.lewisham.gov.uk/recyclable to make sure you’re getting the most from your recycling bin. If you are a garden waste subscriber, your collections will still be weekly, but your collection day may change. You’ll find your new collection day in the calendar we’re delivering with your food waste bin. You can sign up for weekly garden waste collections until April 2018 for £60 at www.lewisham.gov.uk/join.
When will my collection day be?
We will deliver a calendar of your collection dates with your food waste bin and caddy before October. You can also check your new collection day now at www.lewisham.gov.uk/binchanges .
I live in a house that currently has waste collections, but my road isn’t listed on the collections rounds list. Why is that?
A few streets in Lewisham are not getting the new food waste collection service and will continue getting weekly collections. Check if this applies to your street. If your street is not on this list please DM/message/email us your address and we will look into this.
The collection date on my calendar doesn’t match the collection date on the website, which is right?
Please DM/message/email us your address and we will check your collection day.
I live on a red route, will I get food waste collections?
A few streets in Lewisham are not getting the new food waste collection service and will continue getting weekly collections. Check if this applies to your street.
I won’t fit all my food waste in my bin if it’s collected once every two weeks, what do I do?
Food waste is going to be collected weekly from October, it’s only your black bin collections for rubbish that are changing to fortnightly.
What happens to the food waste you will collect?
When you put food in your new silver bin, we will recycle it and turn it into compost. This uses fewer natural resources, is much cheaper than burning it (which is what happens when you put your food waste in your black bin) and it’s better for the environment.
I live on a red route, so I’m keeping weekly waste collections, does my collection day stay the same?
Yes, your collection day will stay the same. There is more information about collection days online.
Complaints – bin size, smells, fly tipping etc.
Six adults live at my property, can I have a weekly collection?
All black bin collections are switching to fortnightly, but in exceptional circumstances, we can consider replacing your standard 180 litre black bin with a 240 litre bin. You are only eligible to apply for a larger bin if you live in a house of multiple occupation (HMO), or if there are other exceptional circumstances. You will be able to request a bigger bin online before the service launches.
I have a big family, can I get a bigger bin?
In exceptional circumstances, we can consider replacing your standard 180 litre black bin with a 240 litre bin. You are only eligible to apply for a larger bin if you live in a property with a house of multiple occupation (HMO) license, or if there are other exceptional circumstances. You will be able to request a bigger bin online before the service launches.
Will the bin smell?
No. We we will collect food waste weekly so it won’t smell. Don’t forget to empty your kitchen caddy regularly into the outside food bin and tie your liners. Your outside food bin also has a lockable lid which will stop smells from getting out.
Won’t these changes mean fly-tipping is going to get worse?
No. If everyone recycles as much as they can and uses the new food waste service, there will be enough space in your black bin for all your non-recyclable rubbish. On-the-spot fines of up to £400 are given to people who are caught fly tipping in Lewisham and if they are prosecuted through the courts they can get a fine of up to £50,000 or a five-year prison sentence. Please report fly-tipping to us.
I don’t have room for a food waste bin outside my property
Your new food waste bin is small. The outdoor bin is about 41cm tall so it will take up much less space than your other bins.
Are the bins fox-proof?
Yes, the outdoor food waste bins are lockable which will stop foxes and other animals from getting in.
I recycle and use the food waste bin but I still have extra waste, what should I do?
Find out how to reduce the amount of rubbish you produce and where you can take your additional waste.
I’m not getting the service – why? / I don’t want the service
I live in a block of flats and I want to recycle my food waste, can I have a bin please?
At the moment the food waste collection service is only for residents who have their own wheelie bins. If you have a garden you can order a compost bin on our website for £10. Wormeries are ideal for flats with a balcony or ground floor garden and will provide you with a free supply of compost and liquid fertilizer that is great for potted plants and window boxes.
I compost my food waste – why have you given me a bin?
Composting in your garden is one of the best ways to recycle food waste. You can use your new food waste bin for food you don’t want to compost at home, such as meat and fish bones. Read more about composting at home.
I don’t want a food waste bin, can I return it?
No, we strongly recommend you recycle your food waste using the new food waste bins. The food waste bins are quick and easy to use, good for the environment and will deliver a £500,000 annual saving in the coming years. They will also save room in your black rubbish bin which will only be collected every two weeks from October 2017
Problems with the bin/liners
You delivered a food waste bin to my property, but someone has stolen it, what do I do?
You can order a new bin online by visiting: xxxx (form will be available by end of September)
I’ve been using my food waste bin since you delivered it in July, but you don’t collect it, why not?
The new food waste collection service does not start until October, so please continue putting your food waste in your black rubbish bin until then. Once the service starts you will be able to report missed collections online.
My neighbour has had a food waste bin delivered but I haven’t, what do I do?
If you haven’t received your food waste bin, please report this online at: xxx (form will be available by end of September)
I’ve received my food waste bin but it is missing the caddy/liners/leaflets
Please report this online at: XXX (form will be available by end of September)
Will you supply more caddy liners?
Your food waste bin comes with a free roll of caddy liners to help you get started using the new service. Once you’ve used them all, you will be able to buy more liners at the supermarket. You can also wrap you food waste in newspaper or kitchen towelling.
How much money is this saving?
We expect the changes to waste and recycling services will deliver a £500,000 annual saving in the coming years, compared to projected costs if we didn’t make the changes. We could also be fined by the Government if recycling rates in our borough don’t increase.
How much is this costing?
We expect the changes to waste and recycling services will deliver a £500,000 annual saving in the coming years, compared to projected costs if we didn’t make the changes.
What will it cost residents?
There is no cost to residents. The new food waste service is free of charge.