Rubbish collection services in Aireborough, Horsforth and parts of Wharfedale are set to be overhauled.

Leeds City Council is considering a range of changes to encourage “good waste habits” among residents. Among the proposals being considered for approval by the executive board yesterday, Wednesday, were:

  • An end to automatically providing free replacement wheelie-bins – a practice that currently costs £600,000 a year
  • No more re-collecting of “missed” bins, which instead will have to be taken back in and put out again the following week
  • No more collections of bins that are contaminated or “so heavy they pose a health and safety risk”.

Explaining the rationale behind the measures, the report says: “The delivery of new/replacement bins costs approximately £600,000 per year with the waste management service currently arranging for the recycling, treatment or disposal to landfill of some 330,000 tonnes of household waste per annum, at a total annual cost of around £20 million.

“With the scale of activity and cost, a key aim of the integrated waste management strategy is to move waste management up the waste hierarchy with a particular focus on waste reduction, prior to recycling, treatment and then final disposal. Therefore, the proposed policy is not to provide replacement bins on demand.

“With regard to contamination of residual waste bins in particular, the council will not collect bins which contain hazardous waste items (eg asbestos) or that are so heavy that they present a health and safety risk to council staff or others.

“When collection crews become aware of a contaminated (or excessively heavy) bin, a sticker or tag will be used to explain why the bin was not emptied and request that the householder remove and make arrangements for the safe and appropriate disposal of any contaminating material prior to the next scheduled collection.”

The frequency of free bulky waste collections per household also looks set to be cut from 13 to three, per year, and there will be a tougher stance adopted towards residents who leave extra bags of rubbish beside their bins.

The report says: “This policy is required to drive good waste habits.”