Locally available waste beer yeast, a byproduct of brewing industry, was found to be a low cost and promising adsorbent for adsorbing copper and lead ions from wastewater. In this work, biosorption of copper and lead ions on waste beer yeast was investigated in batch mode. The equilibrium adsorptive quantity was determined to be a function of the solution pH, contact time, beer yeast concentration, salt concentration and initial concentration of copper and lead ions. The experimental results were fitted well to the Langmuir and Freundlich model isotherms. According to the parameters of Langmuir isotherm, the maximum biosorption capacities of copper and lead ions onto beer yeast were 0.0228 and 0.0277 mmol g(-1) at 293 K, respectively. The negative values of the standard free energy change (DeltaG degrees ) indicate spontaneous nature of the process. Competitive biosorption of two metal ions was investigated in terms of sorption quantity. The amount of one metal ion adsorbed onto unit weight of biosorbent (q(e)) decreased with increasing the competing metal ion concentration. The binding capacity for lead is more than for copper. Ion exchange is probably one of the main mechanism during adsorptive process.