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Monday, 12 November 2018 10:36

Leeds students donate to the homeless while they recycle food-on-the-go

An initiative from recycling campaign #LeedsByExample means that students at Leeds Beckett University can now donate money to the homeless while they recycle their plastic bottles and cans or paper cups on campus - and targets millennials who eat most on the go than other age groups but recycle the least.

From this month, the two recycling reward machines at the University have switched from dispensing a 10p voucher for each recycled item to automatically donating 10p to St. George's Crypt, a Leeds-based charity that provides care and support to homeless and vulnerable adults.

leeds recycleThe machines - one which collects paper cups, and the other plastic bottles and cans – will be making donations throughout the festive period until Christmas Day. They were installed in October by #LeedsByExample, a six-month pilot campaign from environmental behaviour change charity Hubbub and recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety to improve on-the-go recycling rates in the city.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub said: "Our campaign is all about improving rates of recycling in the city and we hope this will be an added incentive to get people recycling bottles, cans and cups, while also helping those in need in the run up to Christmas."

Andrew Omond, Project Manager at St. George's Crypt said: "Over the Christmas period we serve close to 100 lunches a day, have almost 50 residents having three meals a day and serve free tea and coffee from 11am – 1pm. Donations from the machines will go towards supporting this service over the Christmas period and beyond, making sure that the most vulnerable get a solid foundation of shelter, food and warmth to take on the challenges they are faced with."

Launched in October 2018 as a six-month trial, #LeedsByExample has brought together a partnership of big businesses, local firms and Leeds City Council to improve on-the-go recycling rates in the city. The festive initiatives are part of a much wider campaign that has been piloting recycling facilities for plastic, cans and paper cups on the streets, in local offices, shopping centres and universities. The results of the trial will be shared openly with the goal of a national roll-out of the most successful elements.

The campaign 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.

#LeedsByExample has the following top tips for Leeds city centre visitors to recycle on the go:

· Hang on to your recycling if you can't spot a bin nearby– with 50+ new recycling points you'll never be more than 5 minute walk from a recycling point
· Use the on-street yellow recycling bins for empty plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays and cans
· Recycle any paper cup in any Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee, McDonald's, Pret A Manger and Starbucks across the city centre or look out for the new orange bins
· Download the We Recycle app if you want to check what soft drinks packaging and coffee cups you can recycle where
· Ensure packaging is empty before you recycle, as leftover food and drink can contaminate whole batches of recycling
· Follow and share the campaign on social media using #LeedsByExample

For further information on #LeedsByExample and to get involved visit www.leedsbyexample.co.uk.