Leeds community asks: ‘Why is our bin service still so poor?’

FLASHBACK: The Leeds bin strike in 2009.
FLASHBACK: The Leeds bin strike in 2009.
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otley’s councillors are demanding answers from bin bosses about the ongoing chaos hitting the market town’s waste collections.

Councillors Colin Campbell, Ryk Downes and Graham Kirkland (Lib Dem) want to meet head of environmental services Neil Evans to find out why things are still going wrong, despite promises to resolve issues.

Eleven of the city’s 51 black bin routes were axed on October 25 in an attempt to improve efficiency in what was the biggest shake-up of Leeds City Council’s refuse department in more than 20 years. It made the individual rounds larger, leaving the binmen to empty more bins. Two routes have since been reinstated after binmen struggled to handle the extra work load in high-density inner city areas.

The changes caused major disruption to weekly waste collections provided to 335,000 homes.

Missed recycling bins, which are on a monthly rota, have caused particular misery as just one miss effectively leaves residents without a collection for eight weeks.

The situation got so bad that it led to the tabling of a no-confidence motion in Labour councillor Tom Murray, who was responsible for overseeing the introduction of the new system.

Coun Campbell said: “Since the reorganisation of bin routes, collections in this area have got worse rather than better. Since February, 50 per cent of green bin collections on the Cambridge Estate have been missed. Residents are understandably cross.

“They wish to do their bit for the environment but they are being let down by the council’s failure to collect the bins.

“They are doubly frustrated because when they try to report the problem, they get mixed messages from council officers who either tell them the bins have been collected or will not be for two weeks.

“As one resident said to me, it’s absolute chaos.”

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