Environmental Services

While every household in Leeds depends on Environmental Services at least once a week, our teams offer so much more than the weekly bin collection. 

Our team of over 830 colleagues has a long ‘to do’ list, including: 

  • collecting refuse from over 500,000 wheelie bins per week, making sure nothing goes to landfill 
  • keeping our 8 household waste recycling centres open to residents 362 days a year and managing over 700 recycling banks across Leeds 
  • across our neighbourhoods and city centre - sweeping streets, emptying over 4,000 litter bins, clearing and investigating fly-tips, collecting unwanted bulky items and supporting community action  
  • critical ‘back-office’ services, such as managing waste contracts, planning logistics and equipment for our frontline crews and responding to customer enquiries 

Refuse collection 

We provide a refuse service for all 370,000 homes across Leeds. It’s a complex operation with a weekly bin collection for most of the city that alternates between the general waste (black) bins and the recycling (green) bins. We offer the largest garden waste collection in the UK, serving about 70% of the city 9 months a year. 

Our skilled refuse crews usually comprise a chargehand driver and 2 loaders, who ensure that all bins are emptied, returned safely and any misses recorded. We provide assisted collection for our more vulnerable customers. 

We are proud that over 99% of what we collect is either reused, recycled, composted or used to create electricity and heating at our recycling and energy recovery facility. However we want to recycle more and introduce kerbside glass and food collections in coming years. Our plans will bring more opportunities to join our team and for greater flexible working options for staff. 

Whether frontline or office based, all our colleagues are customer-focused and committed to delivering the best possible service for residents. Our refuse service operates from Newmarket House, a new, award-winning, purpose-built depot and office in the Cross Green area.  

Household waste recycling centres 

Our household waste recycling centres are open 7 days a week at sites across the city, where residents can safely sort and dispose of household and garden waste. We send everything we can for recycling. 

Our Seacroft and Kirkstall Road sites have weighbridges for trade waste and re-use shops on site operated by our charity partner, Revive.  

Each site has a dedicated team advising customers and helping them to use the facilities safely. These roles involve some physical duties and may include operating machinery or wagons. 

Our team also maintains a citywide network of recycling banks for glass, textiles, electricals and paper or cardboard. 

Cleaner neighbourhoods team 

Our cleaner neighbourhoods team work 7 days a week to help keep our localities clean and safe.  

The operational teams sweep the streets and pavements, empty litter bins, collect unwanted bulky items from households and support community action against littering. The area-based teams remove fly-tips and their enforcement officers investigate environmental crimes, interviewing suspects, issuing fixed penalty notices and compiling prosecutions. 

City centre cleansing team 

We have a dedicated city centre team, which performs similar functions to the cleaner neighbourhoods team and also provides some night-time cover. We work closely with Leeds BID and Safer Leeds to support the city centre economy. 

Serious environmental crime team 

This specialist team investigates and takes enforcement action against fly-tippers, who may be involved in organised crime in Leeds and surrounding areas. We investigate cases, interview suspects and take prosecutions to court, working closely with the police and Environment Agency. The team is based at Newmarket House. 

Operational support services  

Our back-office team provides operational support that helps our frontline staff to deliver services for people in Leeds. The team’s work includes: 

  • managing waste disposal and recycling contracts, including for our recycling and energy recovery facility 
  • monitoring disused landfill sites 
  • handling customer enquiries and complaints 
  • supplying bins for households, including new housing developments 
  • citywide engagement and communications 
  • technical route design and project work 

Join our team 

Due to the nature of our work in Environmental Services, we are looking for enthusiasm and people skills in candidates for our roles.  

Visit our job site for current opportunities to join our team.