Recycling now hit by revamped Leeds bin routes

While binmen have been busy catching up on rubbish collections there are now fears that Leeds's recycling might have fallen by the wayside.

Many green bins have gone unemptied - with nine apartments in Shadwell claiming to have not had a proper collection since September.

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Leeds City Council's head of waste Susan Upton told the YEP this week that she was confident recycling rates would not be damaged by changes to bin routes that caused chaos for thousands of homes when they were brought in on October 25.

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And a council spokesman has said that the council is collecting the majority of green bins on schedule.

But disgruntled residents are burning and binning cardboard, paper, tins and plastics that have not been picked up from their homes.

Margaret Garbutt said flats at North Grove Court in Wetherby have not had their green bins emptied for 14 weeks.

Householders have nowhere to store the recyclables so they resorted in burning most of it before Christmas, she said.

Now egg cartons, plastic bottles and newspapers are piling up again, and people want to know what has gone wrong.

Mrs Garbutt said: "We had got to the stage where the bins were overflowing and I am afraid that our gardener and another guy had to burn everything as they didn't know what to do with it. Obviously we didn't want to burn it, but we can't keep in it a small flat."

Margaret Jenkinson, 74, of Woodside Park Drive in Horsforth, has not had her green bin emptied for at least eight weeks. In desperation she chucked the contents out with her rubbish just before Christmas.

She said: "It was all a waste of effort washing all the cans. Leeds City Council get 10 out of 10 for the black bins - they haven't missed a collection - but most of my rubbish goes out in the green bin and that has not been touched now for two months."

The Gables in Shadwell had its green bins emptied on Monday - the first time since September - only because a neighbour asked a passing bin crew to do it, according to June Hartley.

Similarly the black bin store has been emptied twice in 10 weeks only because residents asked binmen in the area to do it, added husband Graham.

Mrs Hartley said: "What adds insult to injury is the fact that a bin wagon is emptying bins in Highthorne Court - 12 yards from our bin pen."

A Leeds City Council spokesman admitted that "many" green bins were not collected during the severe weather between November 27 and December 6 as they had not had the resources to recover all missed collections.

Daniel Brown.

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