Leeds, Leeds Star
MetalMatters was developed and is funded by the metal packaging manufacturing industry, reprocessors and fillers.
3 mins read

Leeds residents urged to make their used metal matter

Leeds residents urged to make their used metal matter. Households across Leeds are being urged to recycle more of the 350 million items of waste metal packaging used in the city each year, to do their bit for the environment.

Leeds City Council has teamed up with organisations from the metal packaging manufacturing industry, recyclers and fillers to launch the ‘make your metal matter’ recycling campaign across the city. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of metal packaging recycling, to increase the amount collected from households and reduce the city’s costs for dealing with household waste.

The citywide campaign includes leaflets which will be sent to every household, radio adverts, big screen displays in Millennium Square, signage on recycling vehicles, roadshows across the city (see notes) and an exciting recycling competition for residents – with prizes from Marks and Spencer.

Over a year, the average household uses approximately 600 food tins, 380 drink cans, 27 aerosols and 182 foil trays – but less than half of these items are going in the green recycling bin.

Simply recycling all the metal packaging used in Leeds each year would save around 9,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to taking over 2000 cars off local streets for a year and helping the environment.

People are being asked to make their ‘metals matter’ by encouraging them to recycle more of the estimated 350 million cans, aerosols aluminium foil trays and the wrapping foil they use in their homes every year.

Used empty and clean metal packaging can be recycled endlessly into new products at a far lower cost to the environment than making them from raw materials.

Research has shown that people aren’t always aware that their used metal packaging will be transformed into new valuable everyday items when collected for recycling. The new campaign aims to help people understand what can be recycled and explain what happens to the metals collected.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, deputy leader and executive member for environment and sustainability said:

“We are calling on local residents to make their metals matter and help increase Leeds’ recycling performance. Recycling metal is good for the environment by reducing CO2 emissions and helps reduce the costs of dealing with city’s waste. Households in Leeds are recycling just under half of their everyday metal packaging like drinks cans, tins and foil.

“Every can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for four hours, so a small action like putting your empty bean tin into your green recycling bin can make a big difference.”

The campaign is being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging, Leeds City Council and M&S. MetalMatters is run by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of the funding partners.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of project managers Alupro said:

“It is great to be able to work in partnership with Leeds City Council to promote the recycling of metal packaging in the city. The MetalMatters programme has delivered significant increases in the volumes of metal packaging collected for recycling in other parts of the UK, so we’re aiming to repeat – and hopefully better this – in Leeds.”

For more information about the Leeds campaign people can visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/metal

Picture attached of the MetalMatters launch in Leeds at the depot of local waste contractor H. W. Martin Ltd. From left to right Vincent Cummins, waste and recycling advisor, Leeds City Council; Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, deputy leader and executive member for environment and sustainability; Rick Hindley, executive director of project managers Alupro; Laura Fernandez, packaging technologist, M&S.

Metal Matters roadshows will be visiting Leeds throughout March and April:

  • Tuesday March 14th Crossgates shopping centre
  • Monday March 20th White Rose centre
  • Thursday March 23rd ASDA Pudsey (10-4)
  • Saturday March 25th M&S Moortown
  • Monday March 27th Kirkgate Market
  • Thursday March 30th M&S Moortown
  • Saturday April 1st M&S Moortown
  • Monday April 3rd Tropical World (10-2:30)
  • Tuesday April 4th Dewsbury Road community hub
  • Thursday April 6th The Compton Centre
  • Monday April 10th Tropical World (10-2:30)
  • Tuesday April 11th Great George Street
  • Thursday April 13th Reginald Centre
  • Saturday April 22nd Otley Green Fair
  • Tuesday May 2nd Morrisons Morley

MetalMatters was developed and is funded by the metal packaging manufacturing industry, reprocessors and fillers. The programme works in partnership with local authorities and their waste collection partners to promote metal packaging recycling, and thereby improve capture rates for metal packaging at the kerbside. The MetalMatters programme is supported by WRAP. MetalMatters is being managed on behalf of the funding partners by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).

For details of MetalMatters campaigns and case studies visit www.metalmatters.org.uk

For further information about Alupro and MetalMatters please contact Diana Caldwell +44(0)1527 597 757 or diana.caldwell@alupro.org.uk


Number of packaging items is based on: 600 food tins, 380 drinks cans and 27 empty aerosols thrown out by an average household annually (1007 items), multiplied by approx. number of households 348,500 in Leeds equals 350,939,500.

Research carried out by the BCME (Beverage Can Makers Europe) during the inception stage of the MetalMatters programme in 2010. The case study into the pilot programme which details this research can be found here: www.metalmatters.org.uk .

CO2 equivalence based on: The average household consumption of steel and aluminium packaging across 348,500 households in Leeds, the CO2 saving if this entire quantity was recycled and the average emission of CO2 from a standard car per annum.

Previous Story

Campaign highlights best chance of quitting for Leeds smokers

Next Story

Creative pupils let their pens do the talking