Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Failure to clean bin yard results in prosecution

Ignoring requests to clean up this bin yard lands local residents in a right mess.

Tenants, landlords and homeowners are being reminded that bin yards are their responsibility after two occupiers were taken to court for failing to clear theirs up.

The bin yard, on Harlech Crescent, Beeston was overflowing with household waste, furniture, tyres and bricks. Despite repeated requests to clean up the bin yard, local residents failed to deal with the growing pile of rubbish.

A legal notice requiring Toni Mallarkey and Kevin Igoe to clear the yard of rubbish was ignored leading to prosecution.

Both Mallarkey and Igoe were given six month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £100 costs each last week.

It’s hoped that the prosecution will act as a reminder that bin yards are private land and it is up to tenants, landlords and homeowners whose properties are linked to them, to keep them tidy and litter free.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“People need to be clear that if their home is linked to a bin yard, this is private land and they are responsible for its upkeep.

“Some people use bin yards as a general dumping ground instead of dealing with their waste appropriately and then mistakenly believe the council will clear it up. We won’t.

“Unfortunately the misuse of bin yards has knock on consequences for residents and the council – people can’t store their waste, bins and rubbish end up on the streets and we have to clear it up.

“If your home adjoins a bin yard, please help us by making sure yours is used as it should be.”

The council has been working in the Beeston, Holbeck and Hunslet areas of the city to make sure tenants, landlords and owners know how to dispose of and store their waste properly. Efforts are being made to work with people to clear up bin yards, but enforcement action can and is being taken if responsibilities are ignored.

The council is aware that bin yards can be used for flytipping. Anyone concerned that their bin yard is being used for such illegal activity should report it on 0113 222 4406 with as much detail as possible (date, time, description of persons, make/colour/registration number of any vehicles used). The council will use any evidence to seek a prosecution and conviction.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Recycling gadgets pays out for schools

Cllr Mark Dobson (left) and Edward Cooke (right) present headteacher Joanne Blacoe and Horsforth Newlaithes primary school pupils with their recycling reward.

Schools in Leeds are being rewarded for recycling old electronic equipment that might otherwise have ended up in landfill.

Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School and Whitecote Primary School have been presented with cheques as a thank you for their outstanding recycling efforts.

The schools are two out of seventeen around Leeds to have Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) banks installed. The old, unused gadgets and gizmos are collected by Weeelink, the council’s partner, and broken down to be recycled.

Much like bottle-banks, the WEEE banks allow children and their families to get rid of their unwanted electrical items in a way that is not only safe and environmentally friendly, but also benefits the schools.

When the WEEE Banks were first installed in July, Weeelink offered a reward of £50 to every school who could fill their bank by the end of term. Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School recycled a total of 92 electrical items. Whitecote Primary School came in second with 53 items.

Given their efforts, Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School were presented with a cheque for £100 and Whitecote Primary school received £50. The cheque for Horsforth Newlaithes primary school was presented by Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and Edward Cooke, director of Weeelink, at a special event last week.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“Well done to all the schools who participated, and congratulations to Horsforth Newlaithes and Whitecote primary schools on their fantastic achievements.

“This effort is inspiring in many ways and we hope the children and their families will continue to lead our city in becoming cleaner and greener, encouraging others to recycle and consider the long-term environmental consequences of their actions.

“I know that they will act as an example to their peers, and hope that they will continue to take advantage of the many services and locations to recycle across the city.”

Joanne Blacoe, headteacher at Horsforth Newlaithes primary school, said:

“I am delighted with the efforts of staff, pupils and parents, and we are all proud of how much has been recycled in such a short space of time. We are looking forward to the new opportunities this reward will afford us and the children are excited at the prospect of developing more environmental projects as a result.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for us to talk about recycling and the environment. The great thing about the WEEE banks is that we're able to get parents and carers involved too.”

Edward Cooke, director of Weeelink, said:

“It is a privilege to be able to recognise the achievements of the children, staff and parents of Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School and the contribution that you are making to electrical waste recycling. Your efforts are helping to highlight the importance of removing electrical waste from landfill.”

It is estimated that one million tonnes of electrical items are thrown away in the UK every year. Because of new developments in technology and the new trends that follow those developments, more and more people are using more and more technology, and gadgets are going out of style faster than ever before. Electrical waste of this kind is growing three times as quickly as any other type of waste.

Leeds City Council wants to make it easier for children and their families to recycle so that nothing valuable is wasted. With more and more schools in Leeds striving to become more sustainable, the WEEE banks let young people and their families recycle on their way to school and recycling becomes a part of everyday life.

Participating schools will be offered a new incentive for this academic year to encourage them to continue recycling gadgets. Each term there will be first, second and third prizes of £500, £300 and £200 for the schools that collect the most electrical equipment. School councils can spend this cash on developing new environmental projects.

Notes to editors:

Items that can be placed in the WEEE banks include: battery operated toys, CD players, chargers, clocks and watches, computer keyboards, electrical DIY and gardening tools, DVD players, cables, electric toothbrushes, electric toys, hairdryers, hair straighteners, internet boxes, irons, kettles, phones, radios, remote controls, shavers, small electric fans, small kitchen appliances, toasters and video cameras.

The first seventeen WEEE banks have been placed at: Whitecote Primary School, Five Lanes Primary School, Stanningley Primary School, Guiseley School Technology College, Bramhope Primary School, Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School, Yeadon Westfield Infant School, Broadgate Primary School, Kippax North Junior, Infant and Nursery School, Westerton Primary School, Cottingley Primary School, Rothwell C of E Primary School, Drighlington Primary School, Meadowfield Primary School, Temple Moor High School, Colton Primary School and Little London Community Primary School.

Currently over a third of all schools are registered with the Leeds sustainable schools framework working to improve their environmental performance across a range of areas including energy, waste, building, grounds and global links.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Celebrating 40 years of music-making with free lessons

This year South Leeds Music Centre will be celebrating over 40 years of music-making for children, families and the local community.

In 1972 parents paid just sixpence a week (2 ½ pence) to join the orchestra – or nothing if they couldn’t afford sixpence!

Prices have of course gone up since 1972, but thanks to Leeds City Council children can still join an orchestra at one of Leeds’ eight music centres for just £1.55 a week.

To celebrate 40 years of music- making in Leeds, anyone under 18 can go along to their local music centre to claim two free lessons in the instrument or group of their choice.

The activities on offer at music centres across Leeds have expanded over the years, and this year include many new classes in response to popular demand - such as Ukulele, Beat-Boxing, Rock Band, and Music Passport, where young people can try things out before choosing a class.

South Leeds Music Centre is also inviting all present and past students to join them for a celebratory concert next February.

Ken Silver, who was the first head of the South Leeds Music Centre in 1970, said:
“We would love to hear from any students who have attended South Leeds Music Centre since it began.

“Maybe you have gone on to become an accomplished musician – or perhaps you have an instrument gathering dust in a cupboard.

“Whatever your level, come and play in our 40 year celebration orchestra.”

Former students of South Leeds Music Centre who are interested in taking part in the concert should contact Artforms on 0113 230 4074 or by email to

To claim the two free music sessions under 18s should contact their local music centre.

Details of all Leeds music centres can be found at:,

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713