Hubbub to roll out on-the-go recycling scheme into Scotland and Wales

Hubbub campaign logo #LeedsByExample

Hubbub has announced that due to the success of Leeds By Example, the on-the-go recycling campaign, the model will be rolled out into Swansea and Edinburgh later this year.

Launched in October 2018 by Hubbub and Ecosurety, Leeds by Example aimed to help address the UK’s low recycling rates on-the-go, through a six-month trial.


Hubbub chief executive Trewin Restorick will be speaking at The Recycling Event on 2 July. Find out more info now:

This trial brought together a combination of 25 national partners who funded the scheme, and 29 local partners including Leeds City Council.

By working together, they installed 124 new recycling points in Leeds city centre, an area that had no on-the-go recycling facilities, prior to the trial.

As well as on-street bins, these include recycle reward machines, which offer money-off vouchers in return for recycling, and other recycling points in retailers and workplaces.

The trial was successful, with Hubbub revealing that it doubled the number of people recycling plastic, cans and coffee cups, and has recycled 600,000 cups in less than six months.

Results from the trial found that the proportion of people disposing plastic, cans and coffee cups in a recycling bin almost doubled from 17% to 32%.

During the six-month period 65,000 cans and 55,000 bottles were recycled.

Polling showed that 82% of the public in Leeds city centre had seen the campaign that consisted of brightly coloured recycling bins, bins that burp and blow bubbles when used, a giant coffee cup installation and a “Re-Cycler” recycling collection bike.

An evaluation of the campaign found that the following elements were key to its success:

  • The public respond to fun and interaction
  • The quality of on-street recycling is higher in places where people have more time to loiter, such as bus stops, and when the bins are visible from far away
  • Recycle reward machines are most effective in ‘closed-loop’ managed spaces where people both consume and dispose of food and drink packaging
  • 95% of people interviewed liked the idea of recycling reward machines, and most people who used them were motivated by a belief in recycling rather than financial rewards.

As well as expanding the campaign into Scotland and Wales, Leeds By Example will also continue for a further six months in Leeds city centre.

The extension in Leeds will see an increase in the number of on-street recycling bins to around 100, more cup collections and better engagement with the local business community.

In September, the Recycling on the Go initiative will be available in Swansea and Edinburgh, building on what has been learned in Leeds to increase recycling rates in those cities.

Hubbub co-founder and director Gavin Ellis said: “When it comes to recycling the packaging we all use, too often the onus is on local authorities to tackle this issue alone. The success of Leeds By Example shows what can be achieved when partners work together to share expertise, grab public attention and change behaviour. Lack of infrastructure and unclear messaging is a major barrier to recycling in the UK, and results from our trial have shown the importance of new recycling bins supported by a clear, concise call to action.”

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