Tuesday, 25 August 2009

An incentive for China Walk and Vauxhall Gardens to recycle waste

Philip O'Keeffe, the waste development officer at Lambeth has asked me to blog about a current Lambeth Council Recycling Team initiative named "Recycling Champions project" on the China Walk and Vauxhall Gardens Estate.

"But why would I do this?", I hear you ask. Well, possibly "to ensure that waste on the estates does get recycled" might be a good answer. As I was strolling around at the back of Vauxhall Gardens yesterday, I noticed that some of the recycling bins are piled up with rubbish that is clearly not just waste for recycling... However, Lambeth Council have decided to offer a cash incentive of £500 towards the best individual/group ideas to encourage more effective recycling on those estates:

Front cover of Lambeth recycling leaflet
Back cover of Lambeth recycling leaflet

The blurb says: "If you are an individual or resident group, from one of the selected estates, and you are interested in getting actively involved in recycling and reducing waste in your local community, then we want to hear from you.

To take part in the scheme you must be over 18 years old and live on one of the selected Lambeth Living estates. All you need is lots of enthusiasm about recycling and the environment and be able to spare a few hours each week. We will give you all the information, materials and support you will need.

For each estate that improves their recycling there is £500 available for a project to help improve their local environment!

For more information on the scheme contact Philip O’Keeffe, Recycling Champions Co-ordinator on 020 7926 8948 or email pokeeffe@lambeth.gov.uk."

I'm quite impressed by Lambeth Council's attempt to reach the local public of those two estates through my blog! However, I suspect that I do not have huge readership on those estates due, in part to a) digital illiteracy, b) language barriers and c) older population without internet access. It's probably due to some of these barriers that the population are sending large loads of "spoiled" recycling bags, so this one might be tough to crack.

I'd be happy to see coments from readers who live on or are based on the estates (or maybe know people who do). Please feel free to copy the URL to interested parties.


Mark L said...

Here's a simple idea that Lambeth can have for free... how about a sign next to every recycling bin that shows what can and cannot be recycled? A lot of people on my estate have no clue what can legitimately be put in recycling bins, so for example, Tetra Paks get put in normal waste (even though Lambeth now recycle these) and big blocks of wood get put in the recycling bins, even though the only way to get wood recycled in Lambeth is to schlep down to the West Norwood depot.

(Actually, here's another idea. It would be nice if Lambeth provided another way to recycle Electrical Equipment / wood / batteries / etc other than trekking to West Norwood. It doesn't exactly help car-free households to have to lug all of that stuff on the bus)

Mark L said...

Oh. And community compost bins. Please.

Three wheeled one said...

Mark L,

Thanks for your comments. Always great to see who is reading. My communal recycling bin (which took 3 months to arrive, and looked like it had been filched from elsewhere) has pictures on it (I think) of what can and can't be recycled. Does yours?

Also, whilst West Norwood is a pain, there is a Southwark recycling depot (much nearer to Lambeth) and I've heard people say that they don't actually check your borough when you go to drop waste. Also, there's a large electrical waste drop off depot somewhere near Nine Elms.

I do agree that community compost bins would definitely be a great way forward!

Anonymous said...

I live in one of the blocks on Vauxhall Gardens Estate. The main problem in our block is that the big recycling bin is on the ground floor. So it's a 5-10 min round trip in order to take out the recycling.

The lids on the big green bins are locked so you have to put items in one by one. The hatch is quite high up so children and elderly people can't easily use it.

I've brought up these problems with Lambeth before but they weren't that interested. I suspect this scheme is just so they can say they're doing something to improve recycling. I suspect it won't come to anything.

There are pictures on the bins of what can/can't be recycled, but I think the issues above are more of a problem.

On other estates Lambeth gives people recycling bins and then collects the stuff from outside your front door. Doing something like this would likely improve recycling rates.

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