Leeds: Bin today, gone tomorrow?

Bins being emptied in Leeds.

Bins being emptied in Leeds.

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HOUSEHOLDS in Leeds with too many black bins could see them removed as part of plans to combat a drop in recycling rates.

Councillors in the city are being asked to approve a reduction in a target for recycling waste as the local authority struggles with a lack of cash.

It is set to launch a new drive to boost recycling, including clamping down on excess black bins. Refuse collectors could remove extra bins from addresses which have more than they are eligible for.

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A report due to be considered by Leeds City Council’s Executive Board next week says a “stronger line on enforcement needs to be taken” and additional bins will be removed at the kerbside where possible.

Recycling rates in Leeds have almost doubled in less than 10 years. In 2011, councillors agreed a target of 55 per cent of household waste being recycled by 2016 and a longer-term target of 60 per cent - based around plans to increase kerbside collections and extend the materials which could be recycled.

However, the report says that funding cuts have affected these plans and recycling rates have slightly fallen recently. As a result, council officers are proposing reducing the target to 50 per cent by 2020.

If the recycling rate increased by one per cent due to increased material from black bins going into green bins, it would save £250,000 a year.

Measures include the crackdown on excess black bins, as well as an awareness campaign and a possible pilot of an incentive scheme.

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “We have a clear policy to provide households with larger families with an additional black bin if they need one.

“However, there are some households in the city with extra black bins who neither need them nor are using their recycling bins properly.

“This results in a greater environmental impact and higher waste disposal costs, and it is not fair that taxpayers managing with the correct number of bins and who are making the effort to recycle should be bearing the costs of this. “The council is therefore seeking to ensure that residents have the correct number of bins based on their circumstances, and to support them in maximising recycling.”

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