Work to overhaul one of the city’s recycling centres, the last of eight sites across Leeds to be modernised, could move a step closer next week.
Members of the council’s executive board are being asked to approve the appointment of a contractor to complete the design and carry out the revamp of the Kirkstall Road recycling centre, when they meet on September 23.
The current layout and facilities at the recycling centre are hampering the council’s ambitions to help residents up the city’s recycling rate with other sites achieving over 70% recycling.
The blueprint for the vastly improved site includes a new split level public recycling area, an operational area for the council to store and transfer waste, new offices and staff facilities, space to store wheeled bins and landscaping works.
The redeveloped site would also include a reuse shop based on the same model as Revive located at the east Leeds recycling centre. Items left at the site that are too good to be thrown away will be sold to the public with the shop run by a not-for-profit community organisation.
The shop operator will offer training, volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities for local people, with profits ploughed back into their organisation or shared with the council.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said:
“Modernising the facilities at Kirkstall Road recycling centre is long overdue and is a key part of our plans to provide facilities that allow people to reuse and recycle as much as possible.
“The site is well used, but with a much needed upgrade, we can replicate the success of the redeveloped east Leeds recycling centre and build on people’s appetite to recycle even more.
“The award-winning reuse shop at the east Leeds site is going from strength to strength, so a similar enterprise at Kirkstall Road means that local people can benefit from the training and skills development opportunities it offers while we all benefit from the financial and environmental benefits of maximising recycling.”
If approved, the successful bidder could start work on site in November 2015 with an estimated completion date of November 2016.
The site would remain closed throughout works and people would be directed to alternative recycling sites at Meanwood Road and Pudsey.
Once operational, increases in recycling at the Kirkstall Road site could generate savings of £25,000 per year.
Executive board members are also being updated on the costs of the scheme. If the report is approved, the total budget for the site upgrade would be £5.2million. This includes an increase of £943,000 to allow for a prudent contingency sum, increased security on site and more accurate construction costs emerging from the detailed design stage of the project.
Councillor Dobson concluded:
“To really reap the ongoing rewards of diverting waste from landfill, we need to be sure that the designs, costs and timescales for the redevelopment are sound. Although this is a significant investment, we will be making savings in the long-run whilst making Leeds a cleaner and greener city.”
Information on all the council’s recycling facilities can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk.