In Lambeth, the council can rightly be proudly of their environmental record. According to a league table compiled this month by Darren Johnson (the Lewisham Green London Assembly member), Lambeth has been placed 2nd out of 33 London councils for its environmental record. Factors such as recycling, domestic energy use and carbon emissions were taken into account (though one wonders whether they factored in air quality, which is particularly poor when you look at the results from the measuring station on Brixton Road). However, praise ought to be given where it's due. Cllr Lorna Campbell (who just happens to be an SE11 ward councillor in Princes Ward) and has been given the environmental portfolio remarked last week,
"This is good news for Lambeth and reflects the importance we have placed on helping people be more environmentally friendly as part of their day to day lives."But it's vital that we don't get complacent, with our orange bags placed proudly on the pavement for neighbouring council residents to see... Lambeth Council still does not offer curbside green waste (garden/food) collection for all residents (it's still being trialled on certain estates), although they do offer reasonably priced wormeries and very cheap compost bins (£14.00). I can personally testify to the delight of running a wormery (which can be managed on a very small piece of balcony space) and recommend it to all and sundry. There is certainly still more work to be done, especially considering the fact that many residents cannot (or do not) use the recycling facilities properly, and thus contaminate recycling with rubbish, which ultimately means that recycling targets are much harder to meet.
During recycling week 2010, Lambeth council is particularly encouraging residents to correctly recycle Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The nearest depots to SE11 for local residents to recycle dead electronics eg. televisions, vacuum cleaners etc. are Manor Place Depot in Southwark (Manor Place is off Walworth Rd) or Cringle Dock (on Cringle Street) in Wandsworth/Nine Elms. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll have to trek down to West Norwood to find Lambeth's big recycling depot. In principle, the Manor Place Depot (despite being in Southwark) have always seemed happy to access my waste WEEE items (they don't generally demand to see proof of Southwark residence), and since we'll soon be operating on the basis that Lambeth/Southwark residents can share services, this seems likely to be a happy arrangement for all!
In the meantime, there's a women only event being run by the Local Initiative for Faith and the Environment (LIFE) group this week at Vauxhall City Farm on Wednesday 23rd June from 10:30 - 14:30 (children welcome). They'll be focusing on recycling as a transformative act, and working to bridge climate change and inter-religious dialogue (see poster below). It sounds fascinating.