YEP Says, June 16: Leeds has risen to recycling challenge, now food firms must

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Onus is on manufacturers to support public in upping city’s recycling rates.

A FEW years ago, city leaders outlined the scale of the challenge facing Leeds as it raced against time to avoid facing a mammoth bill for sending rubbish to landfill.

Without a radical change in household habits, they warned, millions of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money would have had to be diverted to pay punitive levies for burying waste.

Given the budgetary stranglehold placed on Leeds by central government as part of its austerity measures, the impact of that doesn’t bear thinking about.

Thankfully, the necessary shift in thinking has taken place. The city now recycles four times as much rubbish as it did a decade ago.

It means that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste are being diverted from landfill, with the city well on track not just to hit Government targets, but beat them.

The council deserves praise for facilitating this – despite past criticism of its bin collection service – but the bulk of the credit must go to the Leeds public.

If recycling rates are to continue to rise as they need to, the onus must now be on food companies to assist these efforts.

There can no longer be any excuse for unnecessary packaging, while more effort should be put into ensuring that where it is needed, the materials used are able to be recycled locally.

Time will tell is park and ride site does its job

IN opting for a park and ride site to ease congestion, Leeds is belatedly following the lead of other towns and cities across the country.

A lot of hope is being invested in the site at Elland Road, which will crucially open its doors two weeks before the Tour de France rolls into town.

But the expectation is that the benefits of the 800-space facility will be much longer-term.

If the site is to be a success though, it’s vital that the people who it’s designed for are convinced it will cut journey times, without impacting on other traffic.

It’s a tricky balancing act – and one the whole city will hope planners have got right.

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