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Bubble-blowing bins, recycling reward machines, a huge art installation and ‘Re-Cycler’ recycling collection bikes will appear across Leeds city centre from Tuesday 9th October as part of #LeedsByExample – the UK’s biggest push to date to trial innovative ways to improve rates of recycling on the go.

We at Unisan are proud to have a part in this ground-breaking campaign, supplying the leader of the campaign, Hubbub, with our CafeCrush Reverse Vending Machines. If you happen to be in Leeds over the next 6 months, look out for our machines at Leeds Kirkgate Market and Leeds Beckett University.  These machines offer a 10p off discount at a participating trader in the campaign.

Recycling at home has improved over the years, but the rate of recycling on-the-go is still low. In the UK we get through 13 billion plastic bottles, 9 billion drinks cans and 2.5 billion coffee cups each year but only 42% of local authorities provide on-the-go recycling facilities1. A survey of visitors to Leeds city centre found that 52% of respondents had disposed of recyclable food and drinks packaging and the majority of this not recycled2.

#LeedsByExample has brought together a unique partnership of big businesses and local firms.


The campaign will pilot new recycling facilities for plastic, cans and paper cups on the streets, in local offices, shopping centres, universities and transport hubs for six months from October 2018, in conjunction with Leeds City Council. The results of the trial will be shared openly with the goal of national roll-out of the most successful elements.

Whole batches of on-street recycling can easily become contaminated by liquids, tea bags and leftover food. #LeedsByExample will seek to overcome this with a playful and eye-catching communications campaign including adverts, street signs and messages such as ‘empty plastic and cans, nowt else’ to help improve the quality of the recycling collected.

Infographic (1)

“The huge range of eye-catching recycling bins and communications throughout Leeds city centre will make it really easy for residents, workers and visitors to spot their nearest recycling point. We’re interested to discover which of these will make the biggest difference and will share what we learn openly so that the most successful elements can be rolled out in Leeds and nationally. We’re also making sure that all of the recycling we collect will be processed in the UK as locally as possible.”

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder, Hubbub

“With this pilot, innovative technology and interventions will be tested across our city and we are really pleased to see many businesses signed up already to this campaign, from universities to restaurants, shops and offices. I’m encouraging as many local businesses and organisations as possible to get behind this project so that together we can make a real impact on recycling rates in Leeds city centre.”

Councillor Rafique, Leeds City Council executive board member for environment and active lifestyles

“We’re aware that contamination from food and drink has been a challenge in efforts to date to improve on-street recycling. The communications campaign running alongside the new recycling facilities is a critical part of #LeedsByExample and we hope this will dramatically reduce the level of contamination so that more of the waste collected can be recycled.”

James Piper, Managing Director, Ecosurety


2 Survey of 301 visitors to Leeds city centre conducted over three time periods between 11am Thursday 30th August and 9.30am Friday 31st August 2018, designed by WRAP, conducted by Ecosurety and analysed by an independent research consultant

Keen to learn more? 

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