ART and design students have been giving old items a new lease of life as part of an innovative recycling project.

A group of students from New College Durham worked with Durham County Council’s strategic waste and community arts teams to create costumes and other displays from plastic bottles, magazines and recycled clothing.

As part of the project, they visited O’Brien recycling plant in Gateshead to see first-hand how recycling collected from homes in County Durham is sorted, as well as Suez in Billingham which uses waste to create new products and generate energy.

The students’ work will now be displayed a part of a public exhibition at Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre in Durham from Wednesday this week to Wednesday, May 23.

A prize-giving ceremony will also take place at the leisure centre on Thursday, May 17 where the three best students in each class will receive awards, funded by O’Brien.

Ruth Smith, external projects officer at Durham County Council, said: “The students taking part in this project have produced some excellent work and learnt a great deal about the benefits of reusing textiles and recycling unwanted materials.

“Inspiring the next generation to recycle and re-use is extremely important for the future and we hope they go on to share these messages around how to dispose of waste responsibly.”