Call for Leeds businesses to join exciting new recycling initiative

29th June, 2018 - 11:56


A new creative campaign that will tackle recycling on the go is calling on businesses and organisations in Leeds city centre to sign up.

Starting in September 2018, 'Leeds By Example' will bring together a ground breaking coalition of local and national organisations to improve recycling of food and drink packaging currently disposed of ‘on the go’.

The campaign is being launched by environmental charity Hubbub and recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety in conjunction with Leeds City Council. The six month campaign will test the latest thinking on how to increase recycling rates for food and drinks packaging. It will include a combination of ground-breaking technology, new recycling facilities and engaging communications.

#LeedsByExample is already being backed by Alupro, Asda, Association of Convenience Stores, Ball Beverage Packaging Europe, British Plastics Federation, Coca-Cola GB, Costa, Co-op, Crown Packaging, Danone, Ecosurety, Highland Spring, Innocent, Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, PepsiCo and Shell.

The Leeds campaign

#LeedsByExample will see new recycling facilities introduced on the streets, in local offices, shopping centres, universities and transport hubs. 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 – 57% of the population of the city centre are aged 16 to 24.

 Leeds City Centre is a major destination for business and leisure, it also has a growing residential population and the average weekly footfall of 1.3 million provides a great opportunity to trial this innovative approach to recycling. 

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub said “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. 

"We’ll be providing subsidised recycling bins, communications support and advice and would love to hear from any Leeds businesses interested in getting involved.”

Cllr 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.“

How to get involved

All organisations based in Leeds city centre are encouraged to take part. You will receive:

  1. Discounted recycling bins and collection service
  2. Free communication materials to help increase recycling rates by using a consistent, simple recycling message across the city
  3. Participation will be subsidised by the #LeedsByExample collaboration of funders.

Register here for early bird offers and to tell us what your recycling issues are.

Businesses or organisations local to Leeds City Centre are encouraged to register interest and we'll be back in touch at a later date with how to get involved. For more information or if you’re interested in becoming a partner on the project, contact Hubbub at

The issue with ‘on the go’ recycling

We are increasingly eating and drinking on the move, resulting in ever more packaging such as coffee cups, drinks bottles and sandwich wrappers. This industry is predicted to grow and yet only 42% of local authorities have on-street recycling facilities. A recent report showed ‘On the Go’ waste infrastructure as inadequate. Studies confirm that the public wants to recycle, but are confused about what can be recycled. 

The project in Leeds will trial a range of different methods including pioneering technology, new recycling facilities and engaging communications. The results will be shared openly with the aim being to help other towns and cities roll-out the most successful elements.

Building on the Square Mile Challenge which recycled over 5 million coffee cups in 12 months from the heart of London, #LeedsByExample will expand the concept to collect other common packaging materials like drinks bottles and sandwich wraps. The Square Mile Challenge united local businesses to address the issue and installed 131 new coffee cup recycling points, using a common brand and simple messaging to inform the public how and where to recycle their cups. This collaborative approach will be replicated in Leeds.

#LeedsByExample is Hubbub's most ambitious collaboration to-date and addresses a growing challenge – 18 to 25 year olds are twice as likely as older generations to buy food on-the-go but millennials are less likely to recycle. The food-to-go industry is already worth £17.4bn a year and projected to increase to over £23bn by 2022. Yet recent research by ReCoup found that only 42% of local authorities provide on-the-go recycling facilities.

The campaign is a continuation of Hubbub’s attempts to bring together key organisations to cut littering and boost recycling. As well as the Square Mile Challenge previous campaigns have included the award winning Neat Streets litter campaign which launched the pioneering ballot bin of which over 1,000 have been sold world-wide. Hubbub is also behind the recently launched #DriveDownLitter campaign to reduce motorway littering and includes the installation of two new recycling reward machines for coffee cups and plastic bottles.

For more information or if you’re interested in becoming a partner on the project, contact Hubbub at