Lewisham Council - Changes to waste collections

Changes to waste collections

Published on 24 February 2017

In October there will be big changes to rubbish and recycling collections.

What is changing?

Free food waste collections

Anyone who currently has their own rubbish and recycling wheelie bins (mostly those who live in a house or a flat in a converted house) will get:

  • a small food waste bin to go alongside their other bins
  • a smaller kitchen caddy for food waste.

This is a brand-new weekly collection service and is free of charge.

Changes to black bin collections

Collections of non-recyclable rubbish will switch to fortnightly for most properties and there will be some changes to collection days. Recycling collections will remain weekly.

Everyone affected will get:

  • a letter explaining the changes and confirming the start date.
  • instructions on how to use the new service
  • a calendar of collection days.


We will continue to collect your recycling every week.

To make the most of your recycling bin, find out what can and can’t go in it.

Garden waste

Alongside these changes, the popular garden waste collections service continues. You can sign up for £60 for weekly collections until the end of March 2018.

To get the best value for money, sign up before 1 April.

Why we are making these changes

Making it easier to recycle

The food waste recycling service will make it easier for you to recycle more waste. We want to increase recycling rates to help make Lewisham a greener borough and to work towards the Government’s target to recycle 50% of waste nationally by 2020.

At the moment 38% of rubbish in black bins is food waste. If you recycle and compost or use the garden waste collection service, only 11% of rubbish you produce needs to go in the black bin.

Saving money

Increasing recycling rates will help us save money in the future. We expect the changes to waste and recycling services will deliver a £500,000 annual saving over the coming years, compared to the projected costs if we didn't make the changes.

If recycling rates in the borough don’t increase, we could also be fined by the Government.

Your feedback

In our Let’s Talk Rubbish consultation in 2015, 67% of residents asked us to introduce a food waste service and 94% thought it was important to recycle more.



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