Leeds joins efforts to tackle ‘on-the-go’ recycling

Leeds City Council will be piloting a number of engaging communications activities and new recycling facilities in Leeds City Centre for six months from September 2018.

Run by the environmental behaviour change charity Hubbub and recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety, the results of the #LeedsByExample initiative will be shared openly with the goal of national roll-out of the most successful elements.

With 18-25 year olds twice as likely as older generations to buy food on-the-go, but also less likely to recycle, the campaign addresses this growing challenge. The food-to-go industry is already worth £17.4 billion a year and projected to increase to over £23 billion by 2022, but only 42 per cent of local authorities provide on-the-go recycling facilities.

A unique element of the initiative will be the first UK trial of an app developed by OPRL, which will use on-pack barcodes to help people understand what and how to recycle, with a map to find their nearest recycling points. The app is one of a range of approaches designed to engage the youthful population of Leeds.

Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council executive board member for environment and active lifestyles, said: “Improving recycling rates and changing behaviours to get people to think about what they are doing with their recyclable waste in Leeds is really important, and we are pleased to be part of this new and exciting trial. Leeds City Centre provides a great opportunity for us to test innovative technology and campaigns to get our population recycling on the go – be that in the office or out and about. I would encourage any of our local businesses interested in getting involved to get in touch with Hubbub to see how you can be part of this exciting project.”

Gavin Ellis, director and co-founder of Hubbub, added: “We know that the public want to do the right thing and recycle as much as they can, but are often confused as to how to do this or simply don’t have access to the recycling facilities they need while they’re out and about. It’s fantastic to have the backing of this broad group of businesses to help make this possible. There is also an important role to play for local businesses. We’ll be providing subsidised recycling bins, communications support and advice and would love to hear from any Leeds businesses interested in getting involved.”

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