Our Social Enterprise of the Week:

Zero Waste Leeds

Zero Waste Leeds work to reduce waste by inspiring people to waste less and reuse and recycle more.

Their Vision / Mission:

Zero Waste Leeds are on a mission to make Leeds a zero waste city by 2030. They work with councils, schools, universities and businesses across the area, helping them become more environmentally friendly. In the past year recycling rates in Leeds have tripled, largely thanks to the #LeedsByExample project, which saw Zero Waste Leeds along with Leeds City Council and charity Hubbub, installing recycling bins across the city centre. This makes recycling plastic bottles, cans and coffee cups easy while out and about in Leeds. The scheme has been so successful it’s now being rolled out in other cities across the country.

Zero Waste Leeds are also working on other projects including Zero Waste Fashion. This project encourages repairing, recycling and upcycling clothing and textiles. Around 4,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing ends up in Leeds’ black bins each year when a large amount of it could have been recycled or reused. The Zero Waste Fashion Project aims to tackle this problem.

The School Uniform Exchange Project is another fantastic project Zero Waste Leeds are currently working on. They’re making it easy for parents to find school uniform reuse schemes in Leeds. So far they have put together a map highlighting where you can buy second-hand school uniforms and where to donate them. They have also set up a Facebook group where people can share information about school uniform reuse. This is a great idea, especially at the moment as many school uniforms bought this year will have hardly been worn and so will be perfect to pass on.

Why We Chose Them:

During lockdown Zero Waste Leeds shifted their focus to stay at home waste reduction, sharing tips and ideas on how to keep waste to a minimum while at home. They’ve been working to support the council to spread the word about recycling and bin collections. While the collection of garden waste bins was suspended Zero Waste Leeds were promoting home composting and sharing videos on the best ways to deal with garden waste. They’ve also been working alongside charity shops during this tough time, encouraging people to hold onto their donations until the shops were able to accept them again. It’s great to see that Zero Waste Leeds have been coming up with new and innovative ways to achieve their goal, even in the unprecedented times we’ve been facing recently.

The Work They Do:

How They Align With Our Values:

Here at Ground Up Digital we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible and are always looking for new ways to reduce our waste. We have joined Oblong Trees’ quest to become more carbon positive by planting trees to offset our carbon footprint as another way to be more sustainable.

It’s also great to see that Zero Waste Leeds support other local businesses and social enterprises, something we always try to do here. They work closely with some of our previous Social Enterprise of the Week winners Seagulls Paint and Emmaus Leeds, encouraging people to buy their products and donate to them. We love to see Leeds’ social enterprises supporting each other!

You can read more about our values here: https://groundup.digital/our-values/

How You Can Support Them:

We can all support Zero Waste Leeds by being more environmentally conscious, check out their website for tips and ideas. If you’re a business in Leeds who’s looking to become more sustainable, Zero Waste Leeds can help. Find out more here: https://www.zerowasteleeds.org.uk/pipeline/want-help-to-be-a-sustainable-business-get-in-touch/