People in Leeds are being encouraged to put recycling at the top of their Christmas to-do lists this year.
Leeds City Council is doing all it can to help ensure everyone continues to get bin collections over the Christmas and New Year period. Crews will be working flat out, with the service only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Collections will also take place on Sundays as part of the festive schedule.
Over the next week or so every household will be sent a leaflet setting out bin collection dates for Christmas and New Year. These will start dropping through letterboxes across the city from today, December 7.
The handy-sized leaflets show the days when households can expect collections to take place between December 20 and January 3, with a normal collection schedule running until December 19.
The leaflet also includes some eco-friendly reminders of the many items that can go in your green bin. This has even more importance than usual as Leeds gears up for a very different sort of Christmas. With many of us staying at home this year, we can all do our bit for the environment and make sure recycling isn’t just happening in the kitchen but in areas like the living room and bathroom too.
COVID-19 restrictions mean people are expected to receive more of their Christmas presents via a home delivery than in person. As a result, there is likely to be plenty of cardboard packaging left over that will be perfect for the green bin. Make sure you fold or squash your recyclable items so you can get more in there!
Other ideas outlined in the leaflets include removing glittery decorations from cards before recycling and storing empty bottles in a cardboard box ahead of visits to one of the hundreds of glass banks across the city. Unwanted gifts, meanwhile, can be donated to charities or left in a reuse container at one of Leeds’s household recycling centres – COVID-19 restrictions allowing.
Christmas is a particularly busy time for our bin crews, with residents generating an additional 1,000 tonnes of black and green bin rubbish over the festive period. That figure is likely to be even higher this year due to large numbers of people opting for stay-at-home celebrations instead of going away.
This follows nine months of herculean efforts from crews to keep the service going for residents during the pandemic. The impact of lockdown and other restrictions led to 16,500 tonnes more black and green bin rubbish being collected from homes in Leeds between March and November than would typically be expected.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and active lifestyles, said:
“The effects of the pandemic mean this is going to be a different kind of Christmas in Leeds, with significant changes to people’s usual festive routines.
“Stay-at-home celebrations and online shopping will generate even more black and green bin rubbish than we normally see, so it’s especially important for everyone to recycle as much as possible.
“It’s really important that residents check their collection days over the festive period, as some days may be different. The leaflets that are going out to all homes in the city this week explain this for people.
“They also have lots of hints and tips on the best way to have an environmentally-friendly Christmas and we hope they will come in useful over the next few weeks.
“In addition all our household recycling centres are open and are free to use to dispose of any recyclables you can’t fit in your green bin or wish to donate for a charity to reuse – just make a booking and visit one of our eight COVID-safe sites.”
Leeds’s household recycling centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day but will otherwise be open and operating as normal. Drop-off slots should be booked via www.leeds.gov.uk/recyclingsites. Glass jars and bottles can be recycled at any of our 650 glass banks across the city.
People can also check their Christmas bin collection dates at www.leeds.gov.uk/xmasbins or get bin day reminders straight to their phone by downloading the Leeds Bins app.