The Recycling and Waste Open Wonder Day 2018

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Veolia Wonder Day

Learn first-hand how recyclables and black bag waste is turned into new green products and energy, there will also be a host of interactive exhibits, games and displays.


Starts: Saturday 10:00
Ends: Saturday 16:00

Event Details

Address:Southwark IWMF
43 Devon Street

Post code:SE15 1AL


Open hours:10am - 4pm


Join us for this year's annual Wonder Day that takes place as part of Open House Weekend London for a fun day out for the whole family. Learn first-hand how recyclables and black bag waste is turned into new green products and energy, there will also be a host of interactive exhibits, games and displays.

MRF tour

Learn how recyclables get sorted at our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Watch our state-of-the-art machinery and our hard-working staff sort different materials into separate recycling materials ready to baled up and sent to manufacturers to be turned into something new.  Tours will take place every 20 minutes throughout the day and last approximately 40 minutes, tours will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Tours are conducted via the use of audio headsets. Tour restrictions apply*

Kids Recycling Tour

For those who are too young or don’t meet our requirements for a standard Recycling Waste Tour, we run a special tour once the machinery is shut down for a lunch break, without the need for audio headsets. Ask at the Health and Safety tent for times and to book a place. Please note spaces fill very quickly so please arrive in good time to book your place.

MBT tour

Learn how we turn general waste into a low carbon fuel at the Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility, Veolia’s first in the UK. See how we prevent almost all general waste from being landfilled using state-of-the-art machinery along with a tailored biological process to produce a fuel that can be used to create energy. General waste tours take place throughout the day on a first come, first served basis and last approximately 20 minutes. Tour restrictions apply*.

Ask the experts

Do you have a question about the future of waste or want to quiz someone about recycling? Our waste and recycling experts will be on hand, to take your questions and provide a comprehensive understanding of the fascinating world of waste. 

Activities for children

  • Recycling Discovery Centre - Discover why we recycle and where the raw materials that make everyday products come from. Our interactive games will keep the kids amused, and the adults too.
  • Story Corner - Tayo Fatunla, a wonderful storyteller from Peckham library will be reading stories. Tayo will also be doing caricatures and entertaining throughout the day.
  • Get close to big machines - Children fascinated by diggers, shovels and trucks will love exploring our vehicles close up. Special displays will also be running throughout the day where you can see some of the vehicles in action!
  • Junk orchestra - Make and play instruments using recycled materials.
  • Wild birds - See some magnificent birds up close and learn all about them. Children over a certain age can also hold a bird under supervision.

Plus there will be a bouncy castle and other games to keep all little ones entertained.

Old Kent Road Honey

You can see our beehives on your way into the site. Since the hives were installed in 2016 the bees have flourished to produce some very tasty honey. Visit our marquee to see if you can get your hands on some in return for a donation to FoodCycle.

Art and Crafts

Want some upcycling ideas? Then check out our craft sessions taking place throughout the day.

Bicycle repairs and build-a-bike workshops

Community Cycleworks will be on hand to teach you how to repair and replace your brakes, tyres, and gears using new and recycled parts. The drop in sessions will get you back on the road and make sure your bike is road-worthy, all for free. The Community Cycleworks mechanics will also be running a build-a-bike session to teach residents how to build and maintain a bike using recycled parts collected from the Southwark Reuse and Recycling Centre. 

*Tour rules (see Veolia website for full details)

  • All visitors must visit complete our Health and Safety induction before queuing up for a tour. Please visit the Health and Safety tent on arrival to complete an induction
  • Children must be over 137cm to be part of a tour. Smaller children can be accommodated on our children’s tour, see below for details
  • All children up to the age of 16, must be accompanied by an adult, with no more than two children per adult
  • No high heels or open toe shoes can be worn inside the facility
  • Unfortunately, the tour is not accessible to wheelchair users and all participants must be able to walk unaided. All other visitor areas are fully accessible on site
  • For those with hearing aids, please be aware, certain aids are not compatible with our headsets
  • Due to the strong magnets used on some of the equipment within the facility, people with pacemakers cannot go on the Recycling Waste Tour, however, they can go on the General Waste Tour
  • All children must be accompanied by an adult and must be able to walk unaided
  • No more than two children per adult


By Bus:The following buses operate along Old Kent Road, with the nearest bus stop to the IWMF being Commercial Way, close to Devon Street. 21 - Newington Green to Lewisham (N21 - 24hr) (via London Bridge) 53 - Plumstead to Whitehall (24hr) (via Elephant & Castle) 172 - St. Paul’s Station to Brockley Rise (via Waterloo Station and Elephant & Castle) 453 - Deptford to Marylebone (24hr) (via Charing Cross and Elephant & Castle) P12 - Surrey Quays to Brockley Rise (via South Bermondsey Rail)

By Train:We are a 7 minute walk from Queens Road Peckham, 25 minutes from either South Bermondsey or New Cross Gate. Further information on public transport serving the IWMF can be found at