A magnetic sculpture of cans, tins and aerosols was created by Lewisham primary schoolchildren to highlight how easy it is recycle metal.
Eco-friendly pupils from Myatt Garden Primary School joined a recycling roadshow team at Lewisham Shopping Centre to launch recycling awareness campaign Metal Matters.
There are around 80 million cans, aerosols and wrapping foils used in Lewisham each year and the campaign aims to highlight how even scraps of metal, such as takeaway foil, can be reused.
Experts have estimated if all metal packaging used in Lewisham each year was recycled it would save around 4,260 tonnes of carbon dioxide - the equivalent to taking 835 cars off the borough's streets.
Lewisham Council cabinet member for customer services Councillor Susan Wise said: “We’re calling on local residents to make their metals matter and help increase Lewisham’s recycling performance.
“It is great to get the message from the little ones because they take it home and pass it on.”
It comes after research showed residents do not always realise they can recycle every day packaging which can be melted down into new products such as irons and watches.
She added: “Even small bits of small metal packaging can be recycled so we are trying to spread awareness.
“That doesn’t include bikes, pots or anything too big, but every day things can be recycled.
“It’s got a lot of payoff and payback. The idea that, not only metal can be recycled but also several tonnes of CO2.”
Coun Wise went on to say if residents recycled just two extra cans, it would generate enough energy to run a computer for 12 hours.
Another aim is to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, instead of recycling or composting waste.
Lewisham ranked bottom of 33 London boroughs in the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures with 20 per cent of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting between 2012 and 2013.
But the council says it encourages residents not to create waste in the first place and to compost within their gardens which is then not reflected in the figures.
Cllr Wise said: “We are actually very high on the scale of people who don’t landfill.
“Other authorities use figures for composting which make us look as if we aren’t as good as others, but it is like comparing apples and pears.”
All cans, aerosols and metals can be placed in the same green council recycling bins outside homes.
Leaflets about recycling have been sent to more than 168,000 Lewisham homes and to find out more visit lewisham.gov.uk/recycling
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