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Last Updated: Wednesday September 16 2009 15:19 GMT

City bin strike causing a stink

Ricky in Leeds

Ricky gets dirty in a rubbish row

Having rubbish taken away by bin collectors is something we all take for granted, but what if the people responsible for waste removal decided to stop cleaning up?

That's exactly that's what's going on in the city of Leeds, so we got Ricky to take a deep breath and check it out…

"Rotting food, mouldy rubbish and disgusting flies. Many streets in the centre of Leeds have turned into temporary rubbish dumps and the city's in a bit of state, all because of a bin strike.

Ricky next to some of the rubbish that's piling up in Leeds

I found wheelie bins outside restaurants stacked with black bin bags and even the public bins seemed to be overflowing.

It's not the fault of the people who live in Leeds, it's the result of bin men and women in the area going on strike in a row about money.

Changes in law

The cleaning staff are angry about a decision to change the way they're paid.

They reckon the money they earn over a year will drop by thousands of pounds and, until the council changes its mind, the cleaners are refusing to pick up any more trash.

But Leeds City Council say they have to make the changes by law and if they didn't it would cost the people of Leeds millions of pounds a year.

Some of the pupils who have been affected by the bin strike in Leeds
Pupils in the city centre say they're angry about the mess - and the smell!

They say they're doing all they can to keep pay fair for everyone that works for them, but they won't discuss it with the bin workers until they return to work. So, it's a state of deadlock.


A similar strike took place in Edinburgh, in Scotland, earlier this year causing a bit of a stink for thousands of people.

I met up with some children who go to a school near Leeds city centre.

They're really angry about the mess and some of them can't even open their windows in the morning because they say it smells so bad outside.

No-one is sure when the strike will come to an end, so it looks like the people on Leeds are in for a rubbish time for a while yet."