‘Huge amount’ of litter dumped in Leeds parks since lockdown restrictions eased

Rubbish left in Roundhay Park.
Pic: Friends of Roundhay Park

Leeds City Council chiefs say there has been a ‘huge amount’ of litter left strewn around parks and green spaces across the city since lockdown restrictions were eased.

The council said there hasn’t been any spikes in littering across the city generally during the pandemic, but littering has increased in some parks and green spaces following recent easing of lockdown measures.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “The new guidelines and great weather has led to a huge increase in the number of people using parks across Leeds and, while the significant majority of people are acting responsibly, there has been a huge amount of litter left behind by less responsible members of the public.

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“Our gardening staff are working extremely hard to empty bins and pick up litter at all our parks in Leeds, however as you would expect, our numbers are currently depleted due to many being off work in line with government guidance.

“We urge people to please keep our city clean and safe by disposing of all waste appropriately.”

Meanwhile, a charity has warned that a huge increase in litter and fly-tipping in woodlands during lockdown is harming the countryside and putting nature at risk.

Conservation charity The Woodland Trust said an increase in visitors at more than 1,000 of its sites across the UK has seen a massive surge in litter, fly-tipping and irresponsible and damaging behaviour.

The Woodland Trust said the cost of clearing up the damage for the year is projected to be around £134,000, at a time when conservation charities have faced financial strain due to the lockdown.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We have not experienced an increase in fly tipping since the coronavirus outbreak began. In fact, in many parts of the city there is less than we would normally experience.

“However, the council is continuing to proactively monitor neighbourhoods for fly tipping, including fly tipping hotspots and those we know are prone to excess/side-waste being presented with bins.

“Extra resources are currently being allocated at hot spot areas to ensure that these types of waste issues are being appropriately addressed, tackled and kept on top of.

“The council has provided clear guidance to members of the public on what to do with additional waste during the pandemic and is working with “Zero Waste Leeds” to share tips on how to reduce the amount of waste being produced by households.

Yorkshire Evening Post