Heaps of rubbish show impact of city centre litter

Cllr Mark Dobson surveys rubbish collected from the city centre in 24 hours

Around five to six tonnes of waste collected in 24 hours was piled high in Briggate - white bags from bins, green bags from litter dropped and rubbish collected from mechanical street sweepers was displayed in a skip.

The extent of littering was made clear today when rubbish collected from city centre streets was piled high on Briggate.

Workers, shoppers and visitors were able to see how much rubbish they correctly placed in bins and how much litter was dropped in the city centre over a 24 hour period.

Cleaning crews dedicated to the city centre collect piles of rubbish like these every day, seven days a week from the city centre.

The council’s annual bill for street cleaning across Leeds is £8 million. Teams clean some of the city’s busiest streets around-the-clock, following an overhaul of how they work earlier this year. Now higher standards of cleanliness are being maintained without having to spend more cash.

Litter isn’t allowed to build up so it’s hoped that the two mounds of rubbish – one made up of white bags from city centre bins and the other from rubbish dropped on the streets in green bags and a skip containing everything from mechanical sweepers – will prompt people to help the council maintain high standards.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“We re-organised how our city centre cleaning crews work to be more responsive as we know that rubbish has a big impact on businesses, residents and visitors. We want to ensure, just like the rest of the Leeds, that the window to our city is as clean as it can be.

“I know many people were astounded when they saw just how much rubbish is collected in such a short space of time. The fact piles of rubbish this size are collected every day demonstrates the scale of operation we need to run to keep streets clean.

“If anyone needed evidence to show that some people still don’t have the right attitude to rubbish, then today’s exercise provided just that. I hope people will take heed of what they’ve seen and work with us to maintain our sense of pride in being the cleanest, greenest and best city.”

There are around 20 members of the cleansing team in the city centre each day, 365 days a year. The crews hit the streets early to clear up after night-time visitors in time for day-time shoppers, workers and visitors. The also ensure litter bins are constantly emptied, especially at the busiest times.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office 0113 395 1577