Another pandemic

Following my piece last month in South Leeds Life on the Litter Pandemic, we are seeing in South Leeds a Fly-Tipping Pandemic.

Undoubtedly, there are some amongst us who are anti-social in that they do not care how their area looks, but most residents are very angry that dumping rubbish is happening and are upset when their street is affected by dumpers coming from elsewhere.

At one time both litter and unwanted large items were not a problem. Everyone in Leeds had open fires to heat their houses and all small items were burnt on a daily basis. Dustbins were usually then called Ashbins. However, during the smogs in the winter of 1962, which resulted in bronchial infections from the polluted air, Leeds had the worst dense smog and had the highest number of deaths in the whole of the UK. It was a wake-up call for the Leeds Corporation, as it was then, to do something about it.

Leeds councillors and council officers were proud of the fact that, before the end of the municipal year of 1973/74, the whole of the City of Leeds was domestic house smoke-free. The larger unwanted items of furniture were carefully saved to go on the 5 November bonfires when just about every street in Leeds had one. This was, of course, before our streets were tarmacked and the bonfires were on stone sets.

To compensate for the loss of these community street bonfires and before Covid arrived, the Council put on professionally-managed bonfires with superb firework displays in our major parks. I am hopeful that these will recommence in November.

So we are now left with the problem of unwanted large household items. Because many of us were at home during the lockdowns, it has been the opportunity to have a clear-out of unwanted furniture and other items. Most people have booked appointments with our local Household Waste and Recycling site at Middleton telephone 07891 271262 or booked online. Booking visits to these sites was introduced to protect employees receiving items safely without the fear of contracting Covid.

If residents do not have the means of transporting large items, collections have continued to be made from households. There is a small charge for up to 4 items at a time. Those who are in receipt of Universal Credit are entitled to free collections.

For furniture which is in decent condition, Leeds & Moortown, St Luke’s CARES Shop on Dewsbury Road and St Vincent’s in Belle Isle all have free collections of furniture which is in good condition. This is redistributed to those who either do not have anything or are on low incomes to furnish their homes.

South Leeds Alternative Trading Enterprise, (SLATE) on Low Road, Hunslet also collects furniture to sell to the general public at knock-down prices. It is worth visiting SLATE’s shop on Low Road as it has some really good stuff.

The City Council has just installed a bin for small items of electrical and electronic equipment either working or not working adjacent to Hunslet Library, Waterloo Street.

The items to be included in these new bins are hairdryers, irons, phones, laptops, anything with batteries or a charger or anything with a plug. The Council plans to repair and recycle such items for resale which all helps our Council taxes down to provide essential services. May I please ask readers to check their drawers and cupboards for any such unused electrical items?


This post was written by Cllr Elizabeth Nash

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