Leeds Council recycling explained - where can I recycle, how much does it cost and what is each bin for?

With growing pressure to do our bit to save the planet, it can be hard to know how and where to recycle different items.

By Abbey Maclure
Friday, 26th July 2019, 1:33 pm
Leeds City Council recycling explained.
Leeds City Council recycling explained.

There have been many criticisms of the recycling services in Leeds, with wider cuts to council funding blamed for falling recycling rates.

While Leeds Council offers a free green bin collection in all areas, recycling larger household items can be tricky.

You can land a 200 fine or even prosecution for fly tipping in Leeds.

To avoid getting caught out, here is a handy guide of how and where to recycle in Leeds:

What can I put in my green bin?

All homes in Leeds should have access to a green bin, where you can recycle paper, cardboard, metal cans, empty aluminium aerosols, foil and plastics.

What can I put in my brown bin?

All homes in Leeds should have access to a green bin.

This service only runs in some areas of Leeds. If you have access to a brown bin, it will only be collected from March to November.

You can recycle flowers and plants, grass cuttings, hedge clippings, leaves, small twigs, windfall fruit and weeds.

No food waste should be put in a brown bin, including fruit skins.

The service does not cover all garden waste - soil, compost or noxious weeds can NOT be recycled.

What can I put in my food waste bin?

Unlike many areas of the country, a food waste bin is ONLY offered in Rothwell and some parts of south-east Leeds, so composting is left to individual households in the rest of Leeds.

There are currently no plans to extend the service to other areas.

The only option is to buy a composting bin, which should be placed in a sunny site on soil in your garden.

If you don't have a garden you can buy an indoor composting bin, but these are often more expensive.

How can I recycle glass?

Leeds Council does NOT offer glass recycling from homes, so don't put glass in your green, brown or black bins.

The council say they do not have the funds to provide glass collection, bins or boxes.

You can recycle glass at 'bring' sites, found in car parks, supermarkets and parks across the city.

For your nearest site, check the Leeds Council website.

Where can I recycle large items?

There are eight recycling points in Leeds run by Leeds Council, where you can recycle larger household items, building materials or other rubbish.

All sites are open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm during the summer months, from April, 1 to October, 27.

Opening times for this winter are yet to be confirmed.

Leeds Council recommends visiting sites the sites between 11am and 3pm when they are less busy.

The eight sites are located at:

Evanston Avenue, Kirkstall, LS4 2HR

Meanwood Road, Meanwood, LS7 2LP

Holmewell Road, Middleton, LS10 4TQ

Bradford Road, Otley, LS21 3DN​​

Richardshaw Road, Pudsey, LS28 6LG​​

Limewood Road, Seacroft, LS14 1LU

Thorp Arch Industrial Estate, Wetherby, LS23 7BJ

Milner's Road, Yeadon, LS19 7JE

Do I need a car to access the recycling sites?

Yes, the recycling points are inaccessible to pedestrians.

Leeds Council suggests using smaller 'bring' sites found in car parks and supermarkets across the city to recycle glass, textiles and small electricals.

Otherwise, you'll need to borrow a car, or pay for a company to collect your large items.

Is all recycling free?

No, Leeds Council introduced extra charges for some items in 2018.

The move was criticised by opposition councillors and blamed for 'fly tipping chaos' in Leeds.

Charges range from £1.50 for one tyre to £96.00 for a van full of loose recycling and you can pay on arrival at the site.

Currently, charges apply to the following items:

* Tyres

* Ceramics - toilet, cistern, bidet, sink, shower tray, Belfast-style sink, ceramic wall/floor tiles, earthenware drains and sewer pipes

* Rubble, hardcore and soil - slates and roof tiles, sand, gravel, pebbles and stones, soil and clay, cement, mortar and rendering, concrete, tarmac, breeze blocks and bricks, paving slabs

* Plasterboard and gypsum-related products - plasterboard sheets, ceiling roses, bags of plaster, coving