Leeds City Council clarifies bin policies

Leeds City Council is seeking to clarify misleading reports and rumours about charging for bins.

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 had been asked to formalise these existing practices in a set of policies when they met 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 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 bins 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.

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

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