Young people urged to get involved with the big recycling hunt

As part of this year’s recycle week (16-22 October 2023), Leeds City Council and Recycle Now are launching a fun mission for primary school children with the arrival of the big recycling hunt.

Recycle week is calling on children aged 5 to 11 in Leeds to take the lead in protecting our planet. With a week of fun activities, the campaign wants to empower young people to become active participants in building a sustainable future.

For example, Richmond Hill Academy pupils will be making items from recyclable materials, performing a poem about recycling and designing recycling-themed posters during recycle week.

To launch the week, The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite visited HW Martin’s materials recycling facility (MRF) in Beeston on Monday (16 October). The MRF processes the contents from Leeds residents’ green bins, using a mix of state-of-the-art sorting technology and people sifting the recyclable materials ready to be turned into new products.

The Lord Mayor found out more about the range of paper, cardboard, plastic and metal items that can be recycled and the importance of getting the right thing in the right bin.

The big recycling hunt, the central theme of this year’s campaign, promises to shine a bright spotlight on missed capture. This nationwide hunt aims to engage children and families in the quest to find ‘lost recyclables’ that too often find their way into the rubbish bin. By focusing on commonly missed items such as empty aerosols, plastic cleaning product bottles, plastic toiletry bottles, plastic pots and tubs, and food tins, Recycle Now wants to foster a deeper understanding of recycling in the younger generation.

In Leeds, recycle week is also being marked across the city, with some of the city’s iconic landmarks being lit up in green, if you spot one why not share a picture on social media using #RecycleWeek.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said,

“As a city, we can all make a real difference to the environment if we ensure we understand which paper, cardboard, metal and plastic items can be put in our green recycling bins – it could surprise you how much you can actually recycle.

“It is fantastic to hear about all the young people getting involved across Leeds and I am certain that our recycling future is safe in their reliable hands.”

Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of WRAP, said,

“The importance of this initiative extends beyond recycle week. By empowering children with the knowledge and tools to become recycling advocates, we are not only nurturing the future but also ensuring a healthier and more sustainable world for all. Join us in celebrating recycle week and empowering the next generation of environmental champions.”

Recycling doesn’t have to be confusing. To find out what can be recycled in Leeds, visit


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

Photo: Lord Mayor Cllr Al Garthwaite with Declan Nortcliffe Operations Director at HW Martin with some commonly recycled items


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2 Replies to “Young people urged to get involved with the big recycling hunt”

  1. If Leeds Council are that fond of recycling could they ever empty many of the green bins in Beeston more than about twice a year? All complaints are acknowledged and ignored ongoing. Thanks

  2. Really good to see the spotlight on recycling – At St. Lukes Cares we have been working to raise awareness about recycling. We understand that there will be some changes to recycling over the next few months, hopefully increasing the times green bins are collected in some areas (from monthly to twice monthly – details tbc) However in the light of this its really important that people know what to put in green bins. At St. Lukes Cares we have made a recycling display showing exactly what to put in a green bin – please come to the shop and check this out. This display will also be on show at our ‘Upcycling Competition’ in the Watsonia Cafe in Cross Flatts Park, during half term, culminating in a days upcycling workshop on 3rd November. Participants are encouraged to make something out of what would otherwise be thrown away – upcycling something. There are cash prizes. Please look on the St. Lukes Cares Facebook for more details.

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