Top tips for successful recycling

For the previous ten years, Leeds was doing well with recycling and its household recycling figure was hitting 44 per cent — however, for 2016 and 2017, this figure unfortunately dropped to 38 per cent. There will have been a combination of reasons for this, however some of them can easily be remedied through a few small changes made at home. Follow the tips below and help increase Leeds’s recycling rate — which helps the town you love and the environment.

Fill your green bin with the right stuff

There’s a lot of confusion across the country about what to put in which bin, and so here’s a reminder for your green bin in Leeds. This bin is for the disposal of:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Metal cans
  • Aluminium aerosols
  • Foil
  • Some plastics (see below for which types)

Clean your recycling

It is important to wash out bottles, tins and cans before you send them for recycling, as this will stop contamination at the recycling centre. If a batch of recycling gets contaminated, the entire batch cannot be recycled and will therefore end up being sent to landfill. Don’t place used pizza boxes or similar in your recycling bin — the grease means they are no longer able to be recycled.

Keep your recycling dry

Always keep your recycling dry because wet paper and cardboard is no longer recyclable. Be careful to dry items you have washed before they are placed in your recycling bin and keep your bin lid closed at all times to stop wet weather from affecting your waste.

Only put recyclables in your recycling bin

Currently Leeds City Council only collects plastic types 1, 2 and 4 (type 1 PET, type 2 HDPE and types 4 LDPE), and this is because they currently don’t have the facilities to recycle the other types. Please check each plastic item before placing it in your bin to make sure it can be recycled by the council — putting unrecyclable items in your bin can delay or ruin the recycling process.

Don’t forget your other bins

While a lot of focus when it comes to recycling tends to fall on plastics, it’s important not to forget your other bins — collecting your food waste and garden waste is a great habit to get into. The aim is to place as little rubbish in your black bin as possible.

Don’t use bags

You may be tempted to place some items in your bin inside a plastic bag — don’t! Always place recycling directly into the allocated bin.

Don’t forget your glass, batteries and printer cartridges

While glass isn’t collected at the kerbside in Leeds, there are plenty of bottles banks and recycling centres you can drop your bottles and jars off at so there’s no need to ever place glass in your general waste bin. Taking an extra five minutes every week to drop your bottles off can make all the difference when it comes to reusing materials instead of making bottles from virgin materials. Again, there are plenty of local drop-off points for used batteries and printer cartridges, too.


This post was written by Lucy Ravenhall from Forge Skip Hire using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.