Working from home blamed for Leeds bin collection cost rise

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Leeds City Council said lockdowns, school closures and parcel waste meant more rubbish was being created

Working from home has been blamed for a council's £5m overspend on household bin collections.

Leeds City Council said it crews had dealt with "hundreds of tonnes" of additional rubbish during the pandemic.

The authority, which collects about 500,000 household receptacles each week, has had to recruit extra staff to cope with the increase.

It said lockdowns, school closures and a growth in parcel deliveries had also contributed.

The council said it is still struggling to collect all of the city's bins, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"With self-isolation and crew bubble requirements still in place the amount of staff available to work can vary day to day," it said.

The council said unlike many authorities it had not suspended garden waste collections.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, member for environment, said there was "no way you can manage the service without having that extra resource".

"We had additional pressures in August but we have overcome them now."

A report said the £4.9m overspend included additional crews and vehicles, extra disposal costs and the cost of additional staffing cover at household waste recycling centres.

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