New £9m Leeds Council waste headquarters 'produces more energy than it uses' during the summer

A new state-of-the-art headquarters for Leeds' bin lorries has been officially opened this week.

By Richard Beecham
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:44 pm

Leeds City Council leader James Lewis opened Newmarket House in Cross Green as the new home for the city’s refuse and street cleansing services.

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The facility will be home to around 130 vehicles and the front-line staff that empty the city’s wheely bins and keep the streets clean. Located next to the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, the council says the facility will "enable the council to design and operate more efficient collection routes", as well as driving down costs.

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The council claims the building will produce more enbergy than it uses in the summer months.

Council decision-makers had approved £9.076m to be spent on building the site at a meeting back in November 2020.

The facility allows for future "green fuelling options", as technology is expected to change in the coming years. A total of 20 electric charging points have been installed for refuse wagons and a further 22 charging points for the services fleet of vans.

The facility has also been developed with the ability to further convert all bays to either electric, hydrogen or biofuel fuelling in the future.

A statement from the council read: "Supporting the council’s declaration of the climate emergency and the need to reduce its carbon footprint has been a key driver in the design and development of Newmarket House. With the building allowing the service to reduce its carbon footprint by 128 tonnes of CO2 each year."

It must be love: two of Leeds City Council's bin lorries get aquainted at the new HQ.

Coun Mohammed Rafique (Lab), the council's executive member for environment and housing, said: “It is fantastic that we are able to celebrate the opening of Newmarket House, and the depot facilities that will make a significant difference to the city’s environmental services. The service works around the clock to deliver for the people of Leeds so it is fantastic that we can deliver a brand-new facility to help ensure the service can continue to do so in the future.

“The council recognises the importance of meeting the climate emergency head on and Newmarket House is a great example of the public sector’s ability to lead the way.

"Throughout the facility there are innovative solutions to reducing our carbon footprint and the site sets the foundation for expanding the electrification of our fleet. I can’t wait to see the impact that this facility will have on the service and the people of Leeds.”

Dan Doherty, regional director for Kier Construction North & Scotland, which helped build the facility, said: “Partnering with Leeds City Council to help them deliver their sustainability goals and support them on their pathway to net zero has been a real highlight and we’re incredibly proud to have built one of the ‘greenest buildings in Leeds’.

“Working with our supply chain, our team has made every effort to construct Newmarket House in a sustainable manner, from crushing and recycling concrete on site, to minimising waste to landfill, to replacing diesel in the machines with HVO fuel, the team identified numerous opportunities for reducing CO2 emissions and our carbon footprint.

“This project had the added benefit of being only five miles from our regional Leeds office making this a truly local project and we have also focussed on social sustainability delivering numerous employment, skills and CSR activities which have contributed to a fantastic considerate constructors’ score of 45/45.”

Newmarket house key facts

- Thanks to solar panels and its efficient design, in the spring and summer months the building generates more energy than it uses.

- The vehicle wash on site recycles 90% of all water used when washing the fleet.

- More than two thirds of all construction costs were spent within the Leeds City Region, creating four new construction jobs, and supporting four apprentices to complete their apprenticeships.

- Electric charging points have been installed on site, with 22 van parking spaces and 20 refuse collection vehicle parking spaces, plus points installed at 12 staff parking spaces to support greener travel to work.

- All concrete used in the build was produced from 50 per cent recycled content.

- All furniture is made from recycled materials and some furniture has been purchased from Leeds re-use organisations. The ground floor area has been painted using recycled paint from Seagulls paint.

- The building has the highest insulation levels to reduce heat loss and reduce heat and energy requirements.