A WASTE management officer is to be employed by Sedgefield Borough Council to help community groups to develop their own recycling schemes.

The council made a successful bid for £54,700 of Government money to run a community recycling project.

The scheme will be run in partnership with Groundwork East Durham and Community Recycling Services Ltd from April 1 this year.

The aim is for the new waste management officer to support community groups, identify training, develop business plans and raise funds to ensure projects can develop.

It is planned to offer a three-year appointment on a one-year rolling contract, subject to funding.

It is hoped the project will raise awareness of waste issues in the borough and help the council to achieve its targets.

These include removing 400 tonnes from the waste stream, increasing recycling rates by 0.75 per cent and providing direct support to six community projects.

A report to the council's cabinet said: "The purpose of the project is to provide support to existing and new community groups to allow them to secure funding or develop business plans to fund their activities.

"The officer's overall aim is to ensure that sufficient support is given to groups to make them sustainable."