A NEW initiative has been launched to help boost Halton’s recycling rate by up to 3,000 tonnes per year.

The Little Known Items campaign is targeting materials that people may be unaware can be taken to one of the Halton Council’s recycling centres, such as takeaway coffee cups, hard plastics, batteries, books, textiles and small electrical appliances.

Halton Councillor Stef Nelson, board member for environmental services, said: "As well delivering environmental benefits, financial savings can be achieved if we maximise the reuse or recycling of waste materials or unwanted items.

"Every pound we spend disposing of materials that could be recycled or reused can’t be spent on providing more important services for members of our local community.

"This campaign will be really important in highlighting to householders how they can make the best use of the council’s household waste recycling centres".

The joint initiative is the work of Halton Council, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and resource management company Veolia, who are hoping to collect an estimated 3,000 tonnes of materials for recycling or reuse that might otherwise go to waste.

Information leaflets will be handed out to visitors at recycling centres over the next month, and banners will be on site promoting the initiative.

The recycling centres, which are open seven days a week, are located on Johnson's Lane in Widnes and Picow Farm Road in Runcorn.

They accept all sorts of household materials for recycling, from cans and cardboard, through to wood, mattresses and white goods.

Jeff Sears, director at Veolia, said: "This campaign is highlighting the lesser known items which are not collected as part of household waste recycling collections, so often get thrown away in the residual bin instead.

"Instead of doing this, take them to a recycling centre which accepts items such as takeaway coffee cups, clothes, plastic toys and garden furniture, CD and DVD plastic covers and electrical items."

Takeaway coffee cups, although they are largely made of paper, are lined with plastic polyethylene, which is tightly bonded to the paper making the cups waterproof and therefore able to contain liquid. This means that they have to be collected in specialist bring banks so they can be processed separately.