Over 600,000 tonnes of stuff is thrown away from Leeds’ homes and businesses every year…the same weight of a small car each!


Agree your three

There are some simple things we can all do to better manage our stuff. What would you be willing to do in your day-to-day life to reduce, reuse and recycle more? 


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Join the conversation. Share how you reduce, reuse and recycle using the #LeedsByExample hashtag:



So, in Leeds we’re throwing away over 600,000 tonnes of stuff from our homes and businesses every year…what’s the big deal?

The things we buy and use are often made from valuable raw materials. When these things are thrown away they have a big impact on our city and the environment. In Leeds we recycle lots of stuff. The rest of what we throw away in our bins is mainly burnt to generate energy, so next to nothing goes to landfill. However, not everybody is recycling, and throwing away these valuable items is expensive too, both for us and our society. 

Many of the things we throw away could be useful to someone else or could be recycled into something new. As the saying goes, "one person’s trash is another person’s treasure"! It's important that we all work together to buy and throw away less, switch to reusable items where we can and recycle more. Together, we can look after our environment and be a city that #LeedsByExample. 




Let’s talk about all this stuff…


Half of Leeds households would like to cut down the amount of stuff they throw out 


About 1/3 of paper and card in Leeds isn't recycled; that's 1700 trees worth per year or enough to stretch from Leeds to York 

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Last year furniture collected in Leeds to be reused helped local charities furnish nearly 700 homes


We surveyed 1000 residents in Leeds to get their views:


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What happens to all this stuff I recycle? 

We recycle lots in Leeds with nearly 40% of household waste recycled last year through bottle banks, household waste recycling centres, and green and brown bins. Glass recycled at our bottle banks is turned into new bottles and jars. Over 1,500 tonnes of pre-loved furniture are reused from donations at our household waste recycling centres. Everything in your green bin goes to a materials recycling facility for sorting, with around 75% recycled and turned into new things. And garden waste is made into compost.


What is Leeds By Example? 

#LeedsByExample launched in 2018 to inspire people to recycle more food and drink packaging consumed on-the-go in Leeds. The campaign is now expanding to explore what we are prepared to do as individuals and as a city, to change what we do with our stuff.  

Research shows what the people of Leeds currently do in their lives, such as what they recycle, reuse, buy new or second hand. There are things that we can all do at home to limit the amount we throw away. Do you think your household could throw away less stuff? Could you be doing more to recycle? Would you be willing to try buying less packaging? Or share more of your belongings with friends and family? We want to know what you already do and what changes you're willing to make. Have your say. 

This information will be used to help inform future plans for the city’s waste and resources and could have a big impact on our attitudes to waste, and how the items we throw away are managed.  

Together we can all #LeedsByExample and inspire others to reduce the amount of stuff we throw away.