Tag Archives: recycling

Christmas tree recycling 2014

Close Enough by flickr user Greenzowie
Just like last year, Greenwich council will collect your tree if you leave it out with your rubbish. Lewisham council want you to trudge over to your nearest park with your tree.

Greenwich Council:

If you would like us to collect your real Christmas tree you must remember to remove all decorations then leave it next to your green-top bin on your normal collection day. Make sure you leave your tree where it can be easily seen by the collection team.

Lewisham Council:

Take it to one of these designated places, or pay £15 to have the council collect it from your door. Note that the pins on the map are VERY approximate – please correct them if they’re in the wrong places.

As I said last year, I cannot understand why two councils differ so much over such a simple thing. We need a randomised controlled trial to work out the optimum way to dispose of Christmas trees. Hope Greenwich wins…

Photo: Close Enough by flickr user Greenzowie.

UPDATE: As James points out, anywhere to the right of this line is Greenwich, so perhaps we will see more Christmas trees next to the bins on the right hand side of this line…
Greenwich Lewisham boundary in Blackheath via OpenStreetMap

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Love Waste Hate Food

Lewisham council garden waste collection... Or not

UPDATE: Name removed because Mrs Bugle said the problem was not down to one individual.

I don’t want Lewisham council to teach people how to compost. I want them to teach themselves how to compost. I’ve left several branded lewisham bags of garden waste outside. I’ve requested them to be collected, and they haven’t been. I’ve tried to re-request it, and got the screenshot above.

Greenwich collects garden waste by default. Lewisham’s recycling is pretty pathetic by comparison.

From the council:

I am writing regarding free workshops by Lewisham Council that I’d like to put on your blog. One workshop theme is about Love Food Hate Waste and the other theme is on home composting.
I can provide flyers with all the necessary details to go on the blog, but with so many workshops available I’ve decided to list them below as well in case that’s easier to see in one hit. Could you let me know if it is possible for these to go on your blog as soon as you’re able, as many of the workshops are coming up soon?
Many thanks, ####

Booking is essential. To book, please email ######
Please title email ‘compost workshop’, state which session you will be booking and how many people will attend. Please also include your phone details.
Alternatively call 020 8314 2145 to leave a detailed message. Please state which session you will be booking and how many people will attend, and leave your contact details.

Love Food Hate Waste and Composting workshops

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Christmas tree recycling – two councils differ

Greenwich Council:

If you would like us to collect your real Christmas tree you must remember to remove all decorations then leave it next to your green-top bin on your normal collection day. Make sure you leave your tree where it can be easily seen by the collection team.

Lewisham Council:

Take it to one of these designated places, or pay £15 to have the council collect it from your door. Note that the pins on the map are VERY approximate – please correct them if they’re in the wrong places.

I sometimes think local councils should be unified into a single body. I can’t understand why the two adjacent councils differ so much in their provision of services.

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Subliminal suggestion by local council?

Just noticed the new instructions on the recycling wheelie-bins. It seems that they are recommending that we recycle one particular brand of trash…

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Recycling – which is it?

Recycling sign on wheelie bin the Blackheath from Greenwich council

Initially I thought it was a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our wheelie bin.  Our flats have been marked out.  We are officially warned.  Someone has been putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins.  It wasn’t me or Mrs Bugle, I swear, honest…  I’m just wondering if they will start daubing our front doors with paint next.

But the photograph above does throw up an interesting point. Looking at all the blogs around here, you’d think it would be easy to draw a conclusion about how our recycling schemes are going.  The Phantom had a great piece about how the Greenwich Recycling plant works, but then I read in The Last Bus Home that it might not be so great after all. They quote another post by a Lib-Dem councillor who makes the point that the government sets recycling targets by the tonne, not by the quality of the recycling.

This means that they don’t really care what happens to our glass and paper waste, so long as it doesn’t go into landfill.  So our glass doesn’t get melted down back into glass bottles, it gets turned into road gravel.  And our paper doesn’t get turned back into paper, but gets shipped to Malaysia instead?!

I’m still glad that it isn’t ending up as landfill, but the carbon cost must be as much of a concern as the landfill.

Wouldn’t the pollutants involved in shipping all that paper halfway round the world be worse than just burning it in the first place?

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Building a Better Bin Bag

As mentioned before, we have run out of biodegradable bin liners.  After extensive testing, and careful prototyping at great expense (well, a couple of newspapers worth at least), I have come up with a sure fire plan to show you what to do with the contents of a kitchen caddy.

The plan I eventually went for is this one, but with the addition of some Sellotape (I’m pretty sure Sellotape is biodegradable, and we’re going for saving the planet here, not origami perfection!).

The video above shows how to make one of these boxes.  There’s no sound, and sorry the quality isn’t wonderful, but I only have an ageing apple mac to film the video on!  If you want to make some, use three or four sheets of the largest newspaper you can find.  One box should just about take the quantity of waste in a kitchen caddy (unless it is hopelessly over stuffed, in which case you’ll need two)..

UPDATE:  If you’re feeling of an origami mind, check out this great TED talk.

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When the biodegradable bin liners run out…

Post-It Box

We are lucky enough to live in the part of Blackheath managed by Greenwich council, who seem to have a more sensible policy on recycling than Lewisham. It means that we were given a little green “caddy” to place kitchen scraps into, which can then be transferred to larger white biodegradable sacks, and then disposed of in a special biomass only wheelie bin once a week.

Which is great, except that the white bin liners were a one-off. Like a drug pusher offering the “first one free”, we aren’t going to get any more of these bin liners without paying for them. Fair enough, as it isn’t actually necessary to wrap your kitchen scraps in anything before chucking them into the wheelie bin, but it makes for a much nicer experience for all concerned if you do.

The council alternatively suggest wrapping the scraps in newspaper. So – I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do this. I had an idea that I could make some little origami boxes out of newspaper, and dump the waste into those before putting it into the wheelie bin.

UPDATE: There are loads of examples on the web, but, being origami, they are nearly all based on square sheets of paper, rather than rectangular newspaper sizes. I had a go with this one; but you have to start with a square sheet, and the box that is produced is pretty tiny (see below left).  All the boxes in the photo below were made with single pages of A4, despite the different sizes of box.

Origami bin liner replacements prototypes

This one looks more promising, shape-wise, but is in Japanese, and gets a bit confusing around about the reverse-folding stage.. The box is bigger but flimsier (see photo above right).

This one looks really good, but is meant for creating seed pots, so is quite small (see middle box in the photo above).

But they’re all a bit small. I suppose ideally, you’d want one made from several sheets of newspaper for strength, with no resizing of the paper required.

If anyone finds one, let me know, and I’ll try and add a video of my happless attempts to replace the bin liners soon!

Box made from a Post-It note by Flickr user teamaskins.

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