Leeds bin yard ‘dumping grounds’ set for radical overhaul

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Leeds Council has launched a radical new drive to clean up hundreds of ‘problem’ bin yards which are turning inner city areas into flytipping hotspots.

The authority has identified 696 yards across the city, which it says are in need of “intervention”.

It is investing almost £250,000 into a new project to tackle the “significant negative and ongoing impact of the yards on our most deprived communities”.

This will involve securing the yards, moving the walls back and providing communal waste and recycling bins secured in frames.

A total of 45 yards will be fixed as part of the pilot, with the ultimate hope of rolling it out citywide at a cost of £3.8m over the next eight years.

The initial funding is expected to be approved by the council’s cabinet at its monthly meeting this Wednesday.

A report being presented to the panel says: “In many areas of inner city Leeds, the shared yards associated with back-to-back properties are creating significant environmental and housing related problems. “These shared yards have attracted high levels of flytipping for many years.

“Whilst a variety of low-cost solutions to the problems have been trialled over the years, from encouraging residents to use the yards properly to simply clearing and permanently securing the yards thus denying access to residents, none of these approaches have fully resolved the issues.”

The report explains that Leeds’s proliferation of traditional back-to-back houses is a contributing factor to ongoing issues.

Bin yards came about as, over time, bathrooms were relocated inside houses and the enclosed courtyards developed over time into bin yards.

“Leeds probably has more back-to-back properties remaining than any other city in the UK, and far more concentrations than most other core-cities, so this is a relatively unique challenge for the city,” the report says.

The new secured bins approach has already been trialled in the ‘Recreations’ area of Holbeck and the council says it has “delivered real improvements in the quality of the local environment”.

The report adds: “Unsecured yards are often used as dumping areas for waste and fly tipping, often by criminals from other areas of the city”.

Of the 696 ‘problem’ bin yard areas in Leeds, Headingley and Hyde Park has been identified as the worst, with 216 examples.

It is followed by Armley, Burmantofts and Harehills in the city’s bin yard league of shame.