Thousands of tonnes of glass bottles and jars are thrown away into household bins – but Leeds refuses to crack the problem.
In Leeds city centre, there are no kerbside glass collections available. For most people, this would mean travelling down to their nearest big supermarket in order to recycle their glass bottles.
Why have a just realised that Leeds City Council don’t provide glass recycling bags so those who don’t drive (or like me can’t afford to) have to walk pretty far to the nearest bottle bank?! Not happy tbh.
— Rebekah Waddington (@RebekahWadding1) August 19, 2018
Around 15,000 glass jars and bottles were thrown away into bins in Leeds in the last year.
There is a wide range of benefits associated with glass recycling such as efficiency, sustainability and saving the environment.
Leeds City Council’s twitter page Recycle Leeds (@Recycle for Leeds) told Leeds Hacks: “There aren’t currently any plans to install any glass banks within the city centre, there are various contributing factors as to why, two of which are space and accessibility for installation and emptying the banks.”
Leeds City Council have also addressed the kerbside glass collection on their website, stating: “We would love to be able to introduce this, but unfortunately don’t have the funds needed to change collection vehicles and routes, provide bins or boxes, and other associated costs.”
Importance of the correct bin
Bottles that are disposed into black bins go to the recycling and energy recovery facility where the glass bottles are destroyed.
Glass bottles in green bins often smash and become mixed into other recyclable material, which means it is harder to recycle paper, metal and plastic as they will now lack purity and be of bad quality. Bad quality means it will be difficult to sell on to material re-processors to make new products.
Benefits of glass bank collections
Buzzing businesses in the city centre such as restaurants and bars could largely benefit from glass banks to dispose their waste quickly and efficiently. Locals can also dispose their bottles on their way to work, minimising the need for them to slot them into their household bins.
Recycling glass is good for the environment as it can be reused and made into a new glass container within thirty days. Glass bottles which are sent to landfills take millions of years to breakdown. Recycling glass is sustainable as it can be recycled repeatedly without losing purity or quality.
Glass recycling saves energy as there would be no need to produce new glass which involves heating up sand and other substances at 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, requiring an exceptional amount of energy and also creates industrial pollution. Glass is crushed to create a “cullet”, resulting in glass products made from cullet consuming 40 percent less energy than from creating glass from new materials.
Car park encourages recycling
CitiPark, a Leeds car park near the city’s First Direct Arena, has launched a plastic bottle recycling scheme.
The scheme allows drivers to pay for their car parking space by handing in an unlimited amount of plastic bottles which will be recycled and the driver will receive a 20p discount for every 500ml or larger bottle collected. Drivers will need to personally hand in their plastic bottles at the entrance of the carpark to the Citipark office attendant.
Charlotte Daisy-Ziff, Head of Corporate Social Responsibilities at Town Centre Securities (CitiPark’s parent company) & CitiPark said: ‘Here at CitiPark we believe that we all have a part to play in ensuring the preservation and betterment of our environment for future generations.
‘So this promotion not only offers our customers the chance of free/discounted parking, but they can also get rid of their waste plastic bottles and contribute to the protection of the environment at the same time: its a win win all around! We hope that as many people as possible will get on board.”
If you are interested in recycling your unwanted glass bottles and jars, there are more than 700 glass recycling banks across Leeds which you can find on the Leeds Gov website or using the Leeds Bins app.
By Simran Kaur