Green waste recycling in parks and open spaces
To keep Lambeth's parks and open spaces welcoming, clean and safe, we constantly have to cut grass, remove weeds and trim, and reduce or remove plants, shrubs and trees.
This means a lot of 'green waste' which, unless we did something about it, would end up being disposed to landfill or left to accumulate in our precious open spaces.
However, did you know over 600 tonnes of grass, shrub and tree green waste are produced by Lambeth's parks and open spaces, including more than 4,000 Christmas trees? Lambeth Council and its waste management contractor Veolia Environmental Services work in partnership to maximise the amounts of green waste converted into compost and mulch.
This can then be used back in our parks and open spaces for a range of positive purposes, helping conserve resources and reducing our environmental footprint.
How we recycle, why we recycle
Veolia operate a mobile SEKO SAM green waste recycling machine, which travels between various open spaces to shred greenwaste such as weeds, old bedding plants and shrubs, leaves, grass cuttings and tree prunings; it's tough enough to even shred whole Christmas trees!
The shredded waste is then stored, turned and allowed to break down, producing either organic soil conditioner or mulch, depending on the process used - it can take eight months to a year to develop the soil conditioner and three to four months to create mulch.
The mulch and compost produced are then used back in parks and open spaces on shrub beds, or around young trees and herbaceous borders to encourage good plant establishment and growth, suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. As well as reducing the need for watering, this helps reduce the amounts of chemical fertilisers and weedkillers needed to keep plants healthy and free of disease or competition from weeds.
All of the above takes place exclusively within Lambeth, so that the need to take materials in and out of the borough is minimised, reducing transport costs and road pollution – Lambeth's parks and open spaces are now self-sufficient it terms of compost and mulch requirements.
Equally important is that this whole operation saves around £40,000 each year on waste disposal costs and makes a significant contribution towards the borough's waste prevention objectives.
Lambeth Council and Veolia Environmental Services are continuing to increase the amounts of green waste recycled in parks. We are also looking at opportunities to encourage our customers to recycle when using parks and open spaces, such as providing recycling bins and supporting community composting projects.
Do your bit - recycle from home
Whilst there's plenty of greenwaste recycling going on in parks and open spaces, they only make up a fraction of all the green spaces in Lambeth: about one fifth (20 percent) of the borough is made up of private and community gardens. Therefore, if you have a garden where you live, why not do your bit to recycle your green waste?
You can either compost your greenwaste so it can be reused on your garden, or have it collected by Lambeth Council and Veolia Environmental Services, so it can be turned into compost or mulch for use elsewhere.
To learn about how to compost or to sign up to the council's garden waste collection scheme, call Lambeth Recycling on 020 7926 9000 or visit our recycling pages.