Christmas bin collections and recycling tips

With over a thousand tonnes of additional black and green bin waste expected to be produced over the festive period, people across Leeds are being encouraged to put recycling at the top of their Christmas to-do lists.

The council will be doing all it can over the festive period to ensure everyone continues to get their bin collections, with the service only closing on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with collections also taking place on Sundays as part of the festive schedule.

A leaflet setting out bin collection dates for Christmas and New Year will be dropping through letterboxes (or chimneys) from the start of next week.

The handy-sized leaflets show the days when households can expect collections to take place between 19 December 2021 and 2 January 2022, with a normal collection schedule running until 18 December 2021.

The leaflet also includes some top tips on how best to recycle over the Christmas period, with a useful reminder of the many festive items that can go into your green bin. Households can make a real difference by taking time to recycle the many materials that can go in their green bin and use one of the hundreds of glass banks across the city.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and housing, said:

“Our refuse service has worked hard around the clock throughout the year, collecting an extra 20,000 tonnes of black and green waste this year with people spending more time at home. This is the equivalent to collecting an additional 1.7 million wheelie bins throughout the year. We are expecting the same trend to be seen throughout the Christmas period making it more important than ever that people across Leeds look to recycle their festive waste.

“The week before Christmas all Leeds households will have their bin collected a day earlier than usual. Also, bin collections that would have been due on New Year’s Day will be made on 2 January 2022 instead.  We don’t want anyone to put their bin out too late, so please check your dates and help us spread the news with friends and neighbours.

“In addition to the ongoing bin collections our household recycling centres are open throughout the festive period and are free to use to dispose of any recyclables you can’t fit in your green bin or wish to donate for a charity to reuse.”

Leeds’ household recycling centres, including Holme Well Road in Middleton, will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day but will otherwise be open and operating as normal. Glass jars and bottles can be recycled at any of our 700 recycling banks across the city, which can be found via this map.

People can also check their Christmas bin collection dates at or get bin day reminders straight to their phone by downloading the Leeds Bins app.

If your normal bin day would have been… Your amended collection day will be…
Monday, 20 December 2021 One Day Earlier on Sunday 19 December 2021
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 One Day Earlier on Monday 20 December 2021
Wednesday, 22 December 2021 One Day Earlier on Tuesday 21 December 2021
Thursday, 23 December 2021 One Day Earlier on Wednesday 22 December 2021
Friday, 24 December 2021 One Day Earlier on Thursday 23 December 2021
Saturday, 25 December 2021 One Day Earlier on Thursday 24 December 2021
Monday 27 December – Friday 31 December 2021 No change to collection
Saturday 1 January 2022 One Day Late on Sunday 2 January 2022


Nine Christmas items you didn’t know you can recycle

  1. Wrapping paper – as long as there’s no glitter and it’s definitely paper it can go in your green bin! You can do the scrunch test to check it’s not plastic – paper stays scrunched, plastic bounces back.
  2. Real Christmas trees – bring trees to a Council recycling centre to be composted.
  3. Plastic sweets tubs – whether you’re a Celebrations or a Heroes family, one thing we can all agree on is the tubs can go in your green bin!
  4. Broken Christmas lights – put them in an electricals bank, check
  5. Christmas cards – in your green bin except if they’re glittery! For glittery ones cut them up and use them as gift tags next year
  6. Wreaths – remove any plastic or glittery parts. The plant bits can be chucked in your brown bin ready for collection in March or brought to the recycling centre with your tree!
  7. Christmas pudding tubs can be recycled in your green bin!
  8. Batteries – toys mean batteries and if you’ve got dead disposables they need to be recycled properly. Almost all supermarkets have a battery collection bin.
  9. Unwanted gifts – drop your unwanted gifts off at a charity shop or rewrap them and give them to someone else next year!


This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council