Leeds residents' anger over rubbish bags repeatedly being dumped in River Aire

Residents in South Leeds claim rubbish bags from a takeaway or restaurant are repeatedly being dumped in the River Aire in Leeds.

By Mark Lavery
Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:45 pm

A couple who live in the H2010 development in Hunslet are calling for action over the problem, which they say started in August 2020 and is affecting the River Aire between Royal Armouries and Thwaites Mill.

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The couple, who do not want to be named, said one day in August 2020 they saw at least 42 rubbish bags floating in the river.

The couple took this photo of bags of rubbish dumped in the River Aire.

They said the problem then stopped until one in May this year when they found 15 more bags in the river.

The couple, who have taken numerous photos of rubbish in the river, said: "Now they are still throwing in at least three or four bags a day.

"We know from the contents of the bags that the business is a takeaway/restaurant.

The couple took this photo of bags of rubbish dumped in the River Aire.

"There are disposable shisha pipe tips, half oranges, takeaway containers, plastic bottles but no evidence of alcohol.

"Based on where we find the bags they could be dumping them near the Royal Armouries, just after the weir.

"These events are very stressful for our community; the culprits have been acting without consequence for more than a year, they are polluting the river and endangering wildlife."

The couple said a group of residents volunteer to fish rubbish out of the river, but they are not able to complete the task effectively as they do not have access to a boat.

The couple took this photo of bags of rubbish dumped in the River Aire.

They added: "It is really frustrating. We don't know where to look for help because the Canal and River Trust are not doing anything and the council are not launching an investigation.

"It is a crazy situation because these offenders are free to do what they want. No-one will take action and we don't know what to do."

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: "We take waste crime extremely seriously and will always take enforcement action where sufficient evidence is available that we know will stand up in court.

"We are currently investigating the aforementioned case and will contact the complainant once we have concluded our investigation."

A spokesperson for the Canal & River Trust, said: "The images are shocking and we’re appalled that people would mis-treat the river in this way.

"The river has been an invaluable green space for so many over the past 18 months as well as providing vital habitats for some of our best-loved species.

"Selfish dumping of rubbish like this not only spoils people’s enjoyment of spending time by the water but is also really harmful to wildlife.

"We’d call on people to treat the river with more respect, disposing of their rubbish responsibly, and we’ve already made contact with the council about this issue."

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