Hundreds of pounds in cash prizes are up for grabs in a new recycling scheme launched by Merton Council.

Merton’s Mega Recycle scheme offers rewards for proper recycling in homes across the borough, with prize draws and money for individuals and communities.

There will be rewards for individuals who recycle, and residents living on estates are also in with a chance of winning cash for the whole estate.

The more an estate recycles, the more likely they are to win up to £10,000.

The same goes for people living in blocks of flats.

The blocks which increase their recycling by the largest percentage could win up to £3,000 to spend on things to benefit their block such as a new carpet or plants for communal areas.

Stickers will be given to householders to put on their recycle boxes so crews can see who is part of the scheme.

When residents sign a pledge to get involved, they also have an opportunity to nominate a primary school for a cash prize.

Everyone signed up will be entered into a prize draw every month.

Eleven households will be randomly selected each month: one will win £250 and the other ten will win £100.

The council will be updating leader boards so everyone can track their progress.

The scheme is being funded by the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government.

Merton Mega Recycle kicked off on Monday with a visit to Lonesome Primary School with special guest reggae star Mark Professor, followed by meeting pupils from St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School on Fair Green Mitcham.

Merton Council cabinet member for street cleanliness and parking Councillor Judy Saunders, said: "We want as many people as possible to recycle as much as they can.

"It’s great that everyone signing up to our Merton Mega Recycle pledge is in with an opportunity to win some decent cash prizes.

"Increasing the amount we all recycle is also good news for the public purse too, as sending rubbish to landfill costs twice as much as recycling."

Coun Saunders said at the moment residents recycle on average about 39 per cent of their rubbish, but this could be much higher.

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