Thursday, 11 March 2010

Don’t waste time in recycling your garden waste

With spring round the corner Leeds City Council has re-started fortnightly kerbside collections for garden waste to encourage green-fingered residents to be equally green with their cuttings and clippings.

Across the city more than 186,000 homes are set to benefit as the winter monthly brown bin collections are increased to fortnightly to encourage gardeners to recycle compostable waste produced when they tend to their lawns and borders.

With the recent severe wintry weather having slowed plant growth, residents may not have realised that the time of year for extra collections of grass cuttings, weeds, leaves and other garden waste is here.

Making sure they get sent for recycling all helps- in conjunction with the recycling from the green bin service- to divert waste away from landfill.

The council is also keen to remind people of the need to leave out their bins at the right times and return them as soon as possible after collection.

Cllr James Monaghan, executive member with responsibility for recycling and refuse collections, said:
“Our garden waste kerbside collection is a useful service which not only benefits residents but also helps contribute to our overall recycling as a city.

“Increasing the frequency of garden waste collections is also a timely opportunity to remind people to ensure all their bins- for gardening, recycling and general rubbish collections- are at the kerbside on the correct days and are returned promptly to their homes once they have been emptied.”

This year’s brown bin collections calendars will be sent out in April, but in the meantime, if you need to check which days to leave out your bins go to refuse collection days For information about what you can put in your green or brown bins visit the recycling section on the council’s website at

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


New council houses and new jobs for east Leeds

Caption: (from left) Bellway Homes’ Managing Director Paul Miller, new apprentice Peter Riaak and Councillor Les Carter turn a ceremonial spade-full of earth to officially start work on the Easterly Mount development

The first spade-full of earth has been turned on a development that will see more than 60 new council homes built in east Leeds.

Sites at St Wilfrid’s Avenue and Easterly Mount in Gipton will see the creation of 63 new council homes – the biggest single number of new council homes for decades.

The scheme will provide 22 three-bedroom houses, 27 two-bedroom houses and 14 two-bedroom flats, all for rent. It is likely new tenants will be moving in during the summer next year.

The development is being led by the council’s regeneration service and is part of the major EASEL (East and South East Leeds) regeneration scheme.

The opening of work will be assisted by Peter Riaak, one of two local young apprentices who will be working on the site, showing that EASEL is supporting local jobs as well as providing new homes.

The EASEL project team was one of the first in the country to bid successfully into the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) scheme to help local authorities build social housing. This is also one of the first such schemes in the country to begin building work.

The £3.5million from the HCA’s Local Authority New Build funding matches a similar amount from Leeds City Council, helping EASEL fulfil its commitment to creating high quality mixed tenure housing.

Once completed, the homes will be managed by East North East Homes Leeds, the Arm’s Length Management Organisation that manages Leeds City Council properties in the east of Leeds.

Construction Leeds has supported the recruitment of Bellway Homes’ new apprentices by promoting the opportunities and coordinating the applications. Candidates were interviewed by Bellway Homes in mid-February with Peter Riaak and Linval Fearon, both Leeds College of Building trainees, becoming the successful apprentices.

Peter is an 18-year-old apprentice bricklayer who lives in Gipton, He’s into football and basketball and starts his Level II training in September. Linval comes from Harehills and is pleased to have the opportunity to move on from claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance, complete his level II joinery training and begin level III. At 24, Linval is a qualified community sports leader who volunteers at his local sports centre.

David Curtis, regional director of the Homes and Communities Agency said:
“This start on site is excellent news for local residents who will be able to move into such high quality new homes.”

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“Being recognised as the first authority nationally to get started on site using Homes and Communities Agency funding for new council homes is a good result for Leeds City Council officers who have pulled out all the stops to make sure we can spend this money by the deadline.
“Having new apprentices shows the potential EASEL regeneration has for improving local employment figures, especially for young people.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the new homes let to council tenants next year.”

Paul Miller, Director of Bellway Homes, said:
“We are really pleased with the partnership work that’s made it possible to get moving with this development, especially since it means we’ve been able to recruit new apprentices.
“Our site manager Bob and his team will be working even harder than usual to finish the work by next March.”

Site manager Bob Lyons said:
“We’ve designed the building programme carefully so that neighbours can get back to normal quickly.
“Obviously the priority is to keep both residents and workers safe while building work carries on.
“So though we’ve had to close Easterly Mount to traffic, the walkway through the site is intended to allow people as much access as possible.
“We’ll put up posters with contact details for site management queries when we start, as part of our ‘Considerate Contractors’ scheme.”

Note to Editors:
• EASEL works in partnership to create sustainable communities where people want to live and work, now and in the future: for further information please contact the team on 0113 2143487
• The Homes and Communities Agency is the Government’s new single housing and regeneration agency for England. It brings together the development and regeneration expertise of English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government.
• Its role is to create opportunities for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. It provides funding for affordable housing, brings land back into productive use and improves quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.
• East North East Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents. East North East Homes Leeds manages 19,000 council-owned residential properties in Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937