On Monday this week the Twitter sphere and some local press were alive with rumours and misleading reports about Leeds bin collection.
Many people seem to have misread the Council’s proposals here – and jumped to a whole series of conclusions

-that Leeds is proposing that in future there will be no free wheelie bins provided

– that people will be charged for their wheelie bins.

-that heavy bins won’t be emptied

-that if rounds are not completed for any reason, the refuse-collectors will not return to pick them up.


Leeds City Council have issued the following clarification.

‘The council will continue to replace damaged or broken bins and provide bins to new properties free of charge.

Residents already have one bin provided for each of the services they receive. If a resident requests an additional green or black bin, this will only be provided if residents meet certain criteria, for example, if they are a large family.

It would undermine everyone’s efforts to reduce waste and recycle more if the council were to simply deliver extra bins on demand.

The council’s executive board have been asked to formalise these existing practices in a set of policies when they meet on Wednesday 22 January.

The policies complement one another so residents understand how the council collects their rubbish and recycling and what they need to do too.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“We collect around two million bins a month and it is one of the most visible services we provide, so we need to be very clear on how these services are run and any changes we’re going to introduce.

However, we are not and have no plans to charge for bins. People have taken to social media today to express their anger and concern about this myth and other issues, like missed or heavy bins.

“I can offer a complete reassurance that replacement bins are still being provided at no charge and if people meet certain criteria we are providing additional bins, again at no cost to residents.

“Our website contains all the latest information on how we collect bin and what residents should do if they experience any problems.”

Some of the concerns raised on social media have been around heavy bins.
While residents may be able to wheel a heavy bin to its collection point, in some cases, the bins are full of rubble, soil, hazardous or contaminated materials and are so heavy that they simply can’t and won’t be lifted onto or by the vehicles.

The policies also explain the council’s approach to missed bins.

When crews can’t collect bins, for example due to access issues, resources will be identified so bins can be collected within two days.

However, if an individual bin hasn’t been put out on time, crews won’t return to collect it. Crews wouldn’t be able to complete their rounds if having to return to pick up individual bins out of the thousands they collect six days a week.

To make services run smoothly, the council is asking people to put their bins out by 7am on collection day and return it as soon as is practical once emptied, that the right materials are put in the correct bins and report bins if they are missed so the right advice or appropriate action is taken.’

So let’s get that clear

– if your bin is broken or stolen – it will be replaced free of charge – as before

-if your bin is full of household rubbish and is quite heavy – it will still be emptied – as before; though, as before, it won’t be emptied if it’s full of bricks or soil or hazardous waste!

– if a round is not completed – because of traffic conditions, weather or whatever – the collectors will return in a day or so to complete it – as before; but, as before, you’ll have to get your bin out by 7 o’clock to ensure collection. As before, you won’t be able to ring in at 10 o’clock and ask for a personal collection of a bin that wasn’t out on time!

So nothing much has changed, really – existing custom and practice has just been put together as policy.

End of bin-panic!

Mark Dobson adds
‘There was clearly misunderstanding here – and I’m happy to have the opportunity to clear that up – as I did on BBC Radio Leeds this morning.

But amid all this talk of wheelie bins – lets not miss a really important fact.
Leeds people have pushed recycling levels over 50% for the first time ever.
I’d like to thank them for that.’

Now that’s Good News!

Information on the full range of recycling services, bin collections and recycling centres can be found at http://www.leeds.gov.uk

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