Our post on Lewisham’s efforts to improve recycling rates prompted several questions on Twitter.
Here Luke Ellis, a council officer who talked to the Ladywell ward assembly about the council’s plans, answers recent queries.
Luke is happy to answer further questions residents and readers may have. Please forward your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
A new report by The Guardian seems to suggest that there is a general problem with tracing where recycling ends up once sold. tre you able to reassure Lewisham residents with evidence that you are able to track what happens to the recycling once it’s sold off? Local Authorities have a statutory duty to report all activity on waste sent for recycling to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural affairs).
Details on the breakdown of materials, tonnages recycled and contamination is reported along with information on re-processors and end destinations. Our current contractor is EA (Environment Agency) licensed, and provide us with full details of where the waste is sent to.
Evidence of this can be found on the public domain (www.wastedataflow.org)
What happens to our food waste? Is it all just incinerated? Organic Waste (food and garden) is sent to our contractor Veolia where it goes through a process called IVC (in-vessel composting).
None of the organic waste is sent for incineration.
The compost created from this process is then sold to manufacturers – however, the council do not receive an income from this.
More information on this process can be found here: https://www.veolia.co.uk/westberkshire/what-happens-my-food-waste
Where does the recycling go? With recycling, it is sent to our contractor and separated from co-mingled to single waste streams (i.e. paper, card, glass etc.).
The materials then go through different appropriate treatments and is baled together to be sold on to brokers.
We have a statutory responsibility to report to the government where our waste goes, and there is a paper trail that provides evidence as to where our waste goes.
And general waste in the grey bin? Lastly, general waste (everything else) is sent to SELCHP (South East London Combined Heat and Power) where it is incinerated.