Recycling in Lewisham


Southwark’s collection has been biweekly for both general waste and recycling for years and works perfectly well for people who made the effort to recycle well. Even for families with children.


I think the new arrangements are great. So pleased that food waste collections are coming, and fortnightly black bin collections will hopefully encourage people to recycle more. We share a black bin with our downstairs neighbours and our black bin is usually no more than half full on collection day anyway.


We are a family of four, sometimes five. No smelly nappies, but doggy bags. Our grey bin is never full weekly, maybe ⅔ full. With the separate food collection (which I believe will be weekly), a fortnightly grey bin collection seems fine for us.


The page says only people who have their own wheelie bins will get food recycling. So not blocks of flats. Agree, there are lots of flats in Lewisham but guess logistically its too hard.


I hope black bins for flats are emptied weekly. Thinking about the bins just down from waters that service the flats above. They’re normally overflowing with waste on the floor well before collection day.


I’d be a lot happier with the fortnightly collection if Lewisham hadn’t been swapping the old black bins for new slimline ones. Where we previously barely filled the black bin to halfway (as conscientious recyclers), it’s now generally pretty close to the top after a week.

Despite having a reasonable amount of space at the front of our house, having 4 bins which need to be kept close to the footpath is also going to be an inconvenience.

These setups might work well for in the shires with big gardens, but for urban living I think they’re less than ideal.


It will be possible to request additional bin/capacity:

14.3. Additional Capacity Policy
 If the following criteria are met then households can request additional capacity:
o Five or more permanent residents living in the property (4 or more for HMO’s);
o If there are two or more children in nappies;
o If additional waste is being generated due to medical reasons (e.g. adult nappies,
incontinence pads, cardboard boxes).
 The additional capacity provided, if the householder applies, will be:
o Larger bin provided for refuse;
o Additional food bin;
o Additional bin provided for recycling.


3 flats in our house and until recently 8 adults and 4 kids. 2 recycling bins, 1 grey bin and a brown garden waste bin. 2 recycling bins usually full and the grey bin around 2 thirds full. Works for us.


Agreed, and even if the bins are not overflowing, the smell in summer especially is not going to be nice.

My youngest will probably be out of nappies by the time this comes in so it probably won’t affect us.

Ultimately if the bins are overflowing now where is it going to go if not collected weekly? Is fly tipping just going to increase?


Does no one use nappy bags these days? At one stage we had three babies using the same bins and no stink. We had one of those nappy sausage storage things. Worked a treat even in the hottest summers.


We used to have a nappy bin if that’s what you mean, but don’t anymore.

I’m not sure putting each nappy in it’s own plastic bag is a much better solution, but either way in summer in a bin for 2 weeks it’s going to smell.

Some lovely person dropped a load of fish in a bag in our bin a few years, that was horrendous after just a few days.


Food waste is weekly.


My bin fairly stinks with dog poop bags, even with weekly collections. But I can only smell it when I lift the lid. Nappies don’t smell half as bad as dog poop, so I think you’ll be okay as long as you hold your nose when you open it!

These changes always cause consternation when they first come in, but people do adapt.


The Lewisham site talks about recycling / refuse bins for kerbside properties should " placed at the boundary of your property in wheelie bins". So if you have a small front garden (common for the properties in Honor Oak area), does that mean the bins should be wheeled onto the pavement outside the property, or just left in the front garden?


Whilst it says on the boundary, I would leave them outside as they will not get picked up inside the property. Guess how I know.


From bitter experience, “on the boundary” means on the pavement immediately outside your house, and not just inside your front yard or even on your pathway to the front door - that small extra distance would seem to be a step too far for the binmen.

However, on our street, they seem to have no problem with leaving the emptied bins as far as 50 yards away from where they actually collected them…!


Far be it from me to point out again an item neighbouring council Southwark did better, or at least where I lived. The bins on my street were taken each week from inside my property boundary and then returned to my property and the same place.

More remarkable when you consider it was a different team for recycling, food waste and general waste.


In fairness, Jason… on your old street, your bins were literally arms length from the footpath and there weren’t any walls/gates etc. in the way so it was very easy for the bin men to do it. I do note the men who take the black bins on Sunderland Road do place the bin back in our driveway so they aren’t left on the street. This is not the case with the green or brown bins, though.


Often out of site from the street because of hedges. Bin men would check inside bins first. The point is the waste service firm Veolia took that small extra incremental step to make life easier for the customer. Probably also recognising that leaving bins strewn across the footpath was a H&S issue.


This works for us. A family of 5, but we still only half fill the black bin (except at Christmas!). The recycling bin is usually full though; we also have a brown bin and a compost bin in the back garden. But on bin day quite a lot of my neighbours seem to have black bins overflowing with waste, so I think some people will need encouragement to recycle more… the foxes will have a field day!

However yes we do find the bin men don’t always collect even if your bins are on the boundary edge, so we quite often put the black bin out on the street in the morning.