For many years, missed bin collections on some of the terrace streets on Beeston Hill and elsewhere has been an ongoing issue. There are three main reasons driving most of these missed collections:
- Population growth has increased the amount of waste produced
- Cars parked on street entry points, blocking access
- An ageing bin wagon fleet breaking down more
These missed collections not only annoy residents but make our streets less attractive and healthy. The Council is now in the process of reaching solutions to these issues after significant pressure from Councillors and Council Officers behind the scenes.
Firstly, the Leeds bin wagon fleet is due to be renewed. Once the results of the Councils and the Governments separate waste reviews are complete, the Council will know what wagons it needs to meet current and future demand. Modern wagons will be more efficient and less likely to breakdown, reducing missed collections. Smaller wagons for harder to access streets will also be considered.
Secondly, the Council is undertaking a review of the bin collection routes. The last review took place ten years ago, and since then, many of our communities have grown, and newer developments were added to existing routes ad-hoc. This has created inefficient routes.
The route review will also consider local issues, for example, streets near religious or sports institutions, which generate significant volumes of car parking on certain days or times, to avoid wagons having access blocked to streets due to parked cars. Once done, the new routes will be more logical and efficient to complete.
Thirdly, after significant pressure from Councillors from across Leeds, including here in the South, the Council will now look to put in place ways to stop anti-social parking, which blocks the bin wagons. As our communities have grown, so has the number of cars households own. In our most densely populated communities, this means more people parking in whatever space they can, including the back streets and at road junctions. This parking isn’t illegal, but it means the bin collections, sometimes week after week, are being prevented as the bin wagons can’t get in or out of certain streets.
To stop this, the Leeds Waste Management Team will now be applying for an Emergency Traffic Regulation Order. This will give Leeds Highways the power to add yellow lines across the city, in bulk, to all problem parking hotspots which have been highlighted, making them illegal to park at. This will reduce some parking spaces, but the health and wellbeing benefits to the impacted streets have been deemed more important. Once the lines have been painted on to the streets and junctions requested, ad-hoc parking enforcement work will begin in partnership with Leeds Parking Services and the Police to police these new restrictions.
The decision to implement parking restrictions has not been taken lightly, but the health of residents must come first. The implementation of the new lines should happen later this year, after a period of statutory public consultation takes place on those streets affected.
In the long-term, we will all need to use less and waste less. Not only to keep our streets clean but to reduce the impact we have on the wider environment. The Council has listened to your request to act on missed bin collections and is.
This post was written by Cllr Paul Wray (Hunslet & Riverside)
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This post was updated with minor drafting amendments at 18:40 on 17 March.