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West Leeds bin collections: Council expands recyclable items

Leeds City Council has expanded the list of things that can be recycled in the green bins, writes Mindy Goose.

To update our readers about this, the West Leeds Dispatch has gathered information that will help you better understand what goes in your bins, when to put them out, what to do if there are no collections, and possibly answer other questions about refuse collections you didn’t know you had!

There is also a refuse and recycling app for your phone, with a link at the bottom, so you can recall some of this information in one handy app.

Our refuse is collected in accordance to the bin colour, it can often be confusing as to what can be placed in these bins, so here is a handy run down.

Green bins: recyclable materials

Leeds City Council have increased the number of items that you can place in your green bin.

Now included are Tetra Pak (such as fruit juice cartons), plastic type 5 (PP) – which include food containers that some fast food outlets use, margarine tubs and yoghurt pots.

The full list is:

  • Paper – junk mail, office paper, newspapers, magazines, telephone directories, paperback books
  • Cardboard – brown card, glossy printed card, egg boxes, inner tubes from toilet and kitchen rolls
  • Metal cans – drink cans, food cans, pet food cans
  • Aluminium aerosols (must be empty) – deodorant, cleaning products, hair products
  • Foil – food containers, take away trays, soft foil (cleaned and scrunched up)
  • Plastic – all plastic types 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE), and 5 (PP). These plastic items include: carrier bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, cereal liners, ring joiners from bottles and cans, drinks bottles, ice cream tubs, toilet roll packaging etc.

You can generally find out what plastic is by looking at the little triangle with the number in, or with the code. These labels can be difficult to find so knowing what type of plastic it is helpful. There is a link at the bottom of the article that goes into this in much more detail.

Things to know:

  • All items need to be cleaned, rinsed, and free from food. Allow to dry before placing in recycling.
  • You cannot recycle black and brown plastics – the infrared technology used in the sorting machine cannot see them
  • You cannot recycle shredded paper.
  • You can leave caps and triggers on bottles, just make sure that you have cleaned out them out first (this isn’t necessary for bleach and cleaning products)
  • If you have recycling that does not fit into your bin, you can put into clear or green bin bags (they will not take black bin bags) and leave these by the side of the bin.

What do the plastic symbols mean?

Black bins: general waste

The black bin is for household waste only (try to recycle as much as you can). But what isn’t household waste?

Don’t put items in the bin that are hazardous, too large or heavy, for example, gas bottles, motor vehicle parts, bricks or rubble, soil or large branches, hazardous waste such as batteries, low energy light bulbs and paints, syringes or needles.

The refuse collectors will not collect bins that cannot close, or extra bags left by the side.

Further information on items not collected roadside can be found in the links at the bottom of the article.

Brown Bins: garden waste

If you have a garden, chances are you have a brown bin. The brown bin collection is every forthright and between March and November. If you are unsure as to whether you have a collection in your area there is a link at the bottom of the article that gives further details (check your bin day).

So, what goes in the brown bins? General cuttings, clippings, leaves, twigs and small branches, weeds, fallen fruit.

And what should never be placed in the brown bin: food waste, compost, soil, and noxious weeds.

There is a link at the bottom of the article which goes into more detail, and explains what noxious weeds are.

Medical waste collections

Leeds City Council provides a free service to collect medical supplies, they will have to meet with you first, follow the link below to arrange a collection.

Where can you find out when your bin day is?

There is a handy link on the Leeds City Council website that allows you to input your postcode and find out when your bin day is for each coloured bin – this will also show you whether your area has a brown bin collection or not. Check out the link below.

What to do if they have not been collected

Sometimes you have all good intentions and put your bin out before 7am, but it hasn’t been emptied by the end of the day. What can you do? Leave your bin out for a further two days (the refuse crew work Monday to Saturday), and the refuse crew should hopefully come back and collect it. If it still hasn’t been collected, then you need to report it to the council. There is a handy link at the bottom of the article to do this.

If you continue to experience problems, then the council will contact you by the third occasion so that they can deal with the problem. Anything further to this, your councillor should hopefully be able to assist.

What to do with other waste that cannot be collected by the kerbside

Items that cannot be collected by the roadside can be taken to a recycling centre, or if relevant, bottle banks and bring sites.

There are two recycling centres in Leeds, one in on Kirkstall Road and one in Pudsey.

Recycling centres can only be accessed by vehicle, and you must have your Leeds resident permit with you.

If you do not have a car, then you can book an unwanted items collection (these visits are not free).

Before you book an unwanted items collection, think about donating to charities, there is a useful directory that the council has provided, and includes items you may not even of thought of such as paint that can be sent to Seagulls on Kirkstall Road. A link to this directory and other useful info can be found in a link below.

There is also a refuse and recycling app for your phone, with a link at the bottom, so you can recall some of this information in one handy app.

Helpful links

General Enquiries Leeds City Council 0113 222 4444

10 Things you didn’t know you can recycle

All things plastic

Green bins more information

Black bins more information

Brown Bins more information

Medical waste

Check your bin day

What goes where

Bin phone app

Missed bin collections

Bin Collection problems

Recycling Centres

Booking an unwanted item collection

Getting rid of unwanted items info and directory


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