HOUSEHOLDERS are to take part in an environmental trial aimed at cutting the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites.

More than 5,000 homes in the Thirsk area - many of which are already collecting paper, cans, glass and plastic as part of a kerbside recycling scheme - will be asked to separate their refuse into two wheelie bins. The bins, for green and kitchen waste, will be collected on alternate weeks.

The pilot scheme is part of a rethink on rubbish disposal by Hambleton District Council, which must meet challenging Government targets to reduce rubbish being sent to landfill.

The scheme is focusing solely on the Thirsk area to keep initial costs to a minimum, although it had been hoped to involve residents of Great Ayton and Easingwold.

Cabinet spokesman Councillor Arthur Barker said: "The kerbside scheme is already proving to be a great success in Thirsk so we are asking the same people to pilot this project.

"We realise this a completely new way of thinking for our residents, but sending all our rubbish to landfill is no longer an option. We need to educate people more into separating their rubbish, in order to recycle as much of it as possible."

The trial, which will begin next month, will involve householders in Thirsk, Carlton Miniott, Topcliffe and Sowerby.