Thursday, 26 March 2009

Recycling and going green in Lambeth

According to an article in 24dash, Lambeth Council have just employed Susan Sheehan to be a "Green Community Champion Coordinator". Fortunately, that coincides with your host, the three wheeled one, attempting (with some neighbours) to encourage this little corner of SE11 to become a green space.

As many of you might know, whilst Lambeth Council offers an opportunity to recycle garden waste, they do not (yet) offer recycling facilities for green kitchen waste (peelings, orange skins etc). My fellow residents and I (or some of them, anyway) have decided to do our bit by installing a composter in our communal area (which is what the Council encourage here).

Surprisingly, well, it was to me, Lambeth Council offers all Lambeth residents subsidised compost bins of either 220 litres or 330 litres. Despite what it says on the Lambeth website, (and displaying an odd bit of Council ludicrousness) both the 220 and 330 litre bins cost £39 (at least according to a guy I spoke to from Blackwall). Unfortunately, at a composting seminar I attended a few weeks ago, the type of bin available, from Evergreener/Blackwall is the type that is not recommended for composting because, being entirely enclosed, it's difficult to "turn" in order to let the air flow through it. Apparently, it can also be difficult to get the compost out at the bottom. Consequently, I have sent an email off to our new Green Community Champions Coordinator asking whether Lambeth Council might be prepared to subsidise the wooden style composter.

Additionally, Lambeth Council don't subsidise wormeries. I've ordered a personal wormery from a different site, but it would be great to have a corporate wormery (which I'd be happy to look after), and Southwark Council once ran this offer in conjunction with St Mungos that I think has probably now finished. I could be wrong, it might still be going, but since I'm not resident in the Borough of Southwark, I can't access a subsidised wormery anyway. I'm actually quite tempted to have a friend write to our local councillor (I wouldn't want to reveal my secret identity) and ask about subsidising wormeries. What does everybody think? Is this an esoteric interest?

Oh yes, according to phone man, Lambeth Council also subsidises 190 litre water butts (£42.95, normally £47.95).

Because I'm a reponsible, civic-minded and "trying to go green" three wheeled one, I've asked our new Green Community Champions Coordinator what becoming a (presumably voluntary) "Green Community Champion" entails. As soon as I have a response, I'll let you all know in case any other readers are interested.

And just in case you wondered what else Susan will be doing, the article quoted above quotes her as saying:

"My role will be to give people practical help, inspiration and advice, whether it be helping them organise their first neighbourhood meeting, put them in touch with organisations that offer grants home insulation or solar panelling, or advice on how to set up a food-growing group."

I suggest that we all encourage her in her work by emailing her at or phoning her on 020 7926 6210 and asking how we might all go green. Also, she has set up a "farm" for all communities living on an estate in Balham. There's a website here.


Bhuvan Chand said...

Nice Article. Keep it up. But I think this is copy of your topic recycling process

JdeP said...

Can you provide more details of the £10 composter offer? (I called and was told £39 and £49 for the two sizes of composter!)

Three wheeled one said...

JdeP, You've spotted my error.

I was told that both size composters were £39 (which I decided was a bit odd), hence I wrote about Council being ludicrous. The £10 figure I clearly just mistyped, and nobody noticed until you today.

Thanks for pointing it out. Also, the Council's green advisor has said that the subsidies will stop soon as they were from DEFRA and they won't be subsidising for much longer, so if you want a discounted one, get in quick.

freegive said...

Today in Lambeth if you walk from one stree to another stree, you will see unwanted items people throw away such as bed, television, clothes, furniture, printer, toys, sofa and computer can pass to someone in your community.

Recycling is an effective way to cut down on the use of these limited resources as well as promoting community involvement in the process.

If you haven't heard yet, there is wonderful organization called Lambeth Free Give ( ). Lambeth Free Give Group connects people who are giving and getting unwanted items for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills and, at the same time, helping someone in your community by gifting them the item you no longer need. Another benefit of using Lambeth Free Give Group is that it encourages poeple to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process. By using Lambeth Free Give Group, not only are you able to get rid of your item with the minimum of fuss; you will also be doing your part in stopping another reusable item ending up in a landfill. Lambeth Free Give Group is open to all residents of Lambeth borough who want to recycle their unwanted items, feel free to post it. Or maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself. Find a group near you. It's completely free to join and everything posted must be free. Visit Lambeth Free Give Group page at

This is a great idea! Encouraging people to reuse and recycle things by giving them away and not sending them to the garbage bin!

I think Lambeth Free Give Group is a great way to build a bond in the community and it's always good to recycle. I think it's a fantastic idea and everyone should join!

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