The thousands of tons of waste that ends up dumped in landfills at United Downs could be a thing of the past as Carrick plans to bring in a new recycling scheme.

Currently out of 2700 tons of rubbish that is collected in the district only 102 tons gets recycled. However, the waste management team at Carrick district council hope that their "Bumper Box Recycling Scheme" planned to start in May will change all that.

This month residents throughout the district can expect to receive a black plastic box made from 98 per cent recycled car bumpers and a red reusable sack that they can use to leave recyclable goods out for collection, instead of normal bin bags as in the present scheme.

The new "green regime" will cover 100 per cent of the district, instead of the current 83 per cent and will include "the big two"- glass and plastic.

Using a half million pound grant from Defra, Carrick has purchased six new vehicles and employed 13 new staff to see the project through. Newham depot is to receive a complete facelift with the facility to "bulk up" the waste on site as opposed to sending it out to contractors, and a "public viewing gallery" for those interested in waste is to be built.

Principle officer Alan Miller said he hoped the scheme would mean the council could met targets of 27 per cent of waste recycled within two years. "Having the box and sack there for people to use will help enormously, and with the education package that comes in with this scheme I am confident that we will met the targets."

Mr Miller said he hoped for 65 per cent participation in the scheme, but warned that if people did not start taking up recycling, then the council could have to consider enforcing the practice with fines.

Under the new scheme garden and domestic waste will be collected on alternately on a fortnightly basis, information packs will come with the boxes and the whole scheme will be up and running by May 24.