As part of Recycling Week, Southwark Council and its recycling and waste partner Veolia introduced Read International book bins at the Ayslebury Estate Housing Office in Walworth and JMB Leathermarket Housing Office in Bermondsey.
Residents were encouraged to donate unwanted books to help children in Tanzania.
Read International was founded in 2004 with the idea of collecting books and distributing them abroad. The charity was born out of one student’s travels in Tanzania, where he observed a lack of access to educational resources and decided to take direct action to address the issue.
Recycling and refuse collectors have helped get things underway by donating some of their old books.
Chris Medhusrt recycling collector for Veolia in Southwark said: “I get through lots of books and love the thought of them being put to good use. It’s great to know that these books will be sent to children in Tanzania where they will be read again and again.’
Fabrice Bouchon, general manager for Veolia in Southwark said: “Recycle Week is a great opportunity for us to shout about the wide range of materials that can be recycled in the borough.”
Councillor Darren Merrill, cabinet member for Recycling and Environment, said: “I am pleased to be supporting this Read International initiative as part of this year’s Recycling Week.
“The scheme shows recycling is not just great for the environment but can also be an altruistic gesture that helps children in poorer parts of the world. This is such a great cause and I hope all residents donate as much as they can.”
While the book bins started as part of a Recycling Week initiative, Southwark’s intention is to keep them and even expand the service if possible.