Recycling opt-in scheme
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Recycling opt-in scheme

In some areas of Leeds, there are issues with people using green bins for general waste when they should only be used for recycling. Putting general waste in the green bin can contaminate a load of recycling which is costly to sort and dispose of and spoils the hard work of other committed recyclers.

What is the scheme?

We write to householders in an area where there are high levels of waste contamination and ask if they want to continue to have recycling (green bin) collections. If so, we ask that they commit to recycling properly. Those who don’t respond will have their green recycling bin removed.

What happens if I opt-in to the scheme?

Opting into the scheme means you agree to:

  • Sort, store and present your recycling correctly
  • Keep your bin within the boundaries of your property until collection day - not in the street
  • Put your bin on the kerbside before 7am on your collection day
  • Keep recyclables dry
  • Return your bin to your property as soon as possible after it has been emptied

How do I opt-in?

If you live in an opt-in area and want to receive recycling collections, please Request a waste recycling service. Before your bin is delivered we can collect recycling if you leave it in a clear or green plastic sack (we won't pick up black sacks). If you require green bags please email

Where else does the scheme operate?

We first ran the opt-in scheme in Headingley during 2014, and following its success we ran it in Harehills. See below for information on specific areas.

Harehills residents

See the boundary for Harehills recycling opt-in (PDF 1.2MB).

Please deposit all your glass bottles and jars (including metal screw lids) in bottle banks at:

  • Ganthorne Terrace near bankside school
  • Harehills Labour Club on Florence Street
  • Banstead Park opposite 'Shine' on Harehills Road

Headingley residents

See the boundary for Headingley recycling opt-in (PDF 1.1MB).

Please deposit all your glass bottles and jars (including metal screw lids) in bottle banks at:

  • Outside Headingley Taps on North Lane
  • Behind Co-op next to Burley park railway station on Cardigan Lane
  • At Sparrow park on the corner of Chapel Lane and Cardigan Road

Click to expandWhat did you do to tell people about it?


  • We liaised with the Citizens and Communities Team and Localities Team from the Reginald Centre to inform local people and organisations

  • We sent a letter and pictorial leaflet to every household involved; and included information about what to recycle

  • From August 2016, we emailed and updated over 50 stakeholders who are involved in the Harehills Neighbourhood Improvement Programme and the Keep Harehills Tidy network to tell them about the scheme and ask for their support in getting our messages across to non-English speaking residents

  • We provided posters to these stakeholders and to post offices, shops and other local organisations to bring the scheme to local residents' attention

  • We visited Bankside Primary School to target the children of residents so they could take the message home

  • The scheme was broadcast on Fever FM Radio on two occasions during the opt-in period



  • We contacted HEART and local community associations, landlords, agents and UNIPOL, universities and colleges to inform them about the scheme and to request their support in making it a success

  • We sent two letters to every household involved and included information about what to recycle

​ ​​​​​​​

Click to expandWhat will happen if non-recyclables are deposited in the green bin?

This scheme is directly addressing contamination and the associated high costs of this. We will advise the householder concerned if their bin is contaminated and if the problem persists, will remove the bin.

Click to expandWho should I contact with other enquiries?

If you have any questions or feedback, please email us at​​

Click to expandWon’t removed green bins mean overflowing black bins?

Unlike the majority of Leeds, this area still receives weekly black bin collections. When bins are correctly used and put out every week – even when only partly full, excess waste should not become a problem.

The area will be closely monitored over the coming months for excess waste around black bins and issues dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Our Waste Recycling Advisors for example, can visit properties and educate those individuals who are not adhering to our conditions and advise on the best course of action. Our aim is to attract more people to recycle correctly, and so the emphasis will be placed on this.

Click to expandWhat happens to the green bins that are removed?

The removed green bins are recycled. They go to a recycling plant to be washed and granulated before being blended with additives and pigments. The blended material is then compounded into reusable polymer, ready for manufacturers to make new bins and other products. The council receives a payment for these in the form of credit against the purchase of new bins.

Click to expandHow much money does this scheme save?

In terms of cost, for every one tonne of contaminated recycling which our processor rejects there is a difference of around £70 per tonne. So if we improve our recycling quality, with help from the residents, this can be a saving every time we prevent unnecessary diversion of waste.

Click to expandCan I order another black bin?

If you are already recycling all you can, but require an additional black general household waste bin, you may request one by calling ​0113 222 44 06. You will need to provide information about the number of people permanently living at your household, and any special requirements they may have. There is a charge of £15.40, which can be paid for by debit or credit card.

Click to expandWhy is my bin not emptied sometimes?

  • Due to the layout of the streets and badly parked vehicles in some areas, our bin lorries are often unable to get through. Please help us by making sure cars do not block access for bin lorries.

  • The bin crews make several attempts throughout the day to make collections but when this isn’t possible, it’s reported and we try to re-schedule an alternative collection day.

  • It is unusual for a bin to be missed on two consecutive occasions. If this should happen, return it back to your property and wait for your next scheduled collection day. Please email us at or let us know by completing the Report a missed bin form online.

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