HUNTINGDONSHIRE residents will soon be able to recycle their small unwanted electrical equipment in town centre car parks.

The district council is one of three to have signed a five-year contract that has already seen bottle banks replaced by textile banks. The waste electrical and electronic goods service is expected to start operation on June 9.

HDC has identified the Tebbutts Road car park in St Neots and the Cattle Market car park in St Ives as 'bring sites' for electrical goods, and it will also provide a facility in one of its Huntingdon car parks, though it has not yet decided which.

It is the first small WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) bring bank collection service of its kind involving Waste Recycling Group (WRG), which has been providing a range of waste management and disposal services on behalf of the Cambridgeshire authorities for over 10 years. This contract has been signed jointly by Huntingdonshire, South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City councils.

The small WEEE banks are expected to collect a range of electrical appliances including toasters, kettles, phones, hairdryers and irons.

Northampton-based WRG says a third-party partner will provide the material recovery processes, and some items will be recycled and returned to the community through the voluntary sector.

"These collections will have the additional benefit of preventing hazardous items being disposed of in landfill and ensure the valuable components can be recovered," a spokesman said.

The new facilities will save people having to travel to the county council's large household waste recycling centres at Bluntisham, Alconbury and St Neots, though larger items will still have to be taken there.

South Cambs said it would start a WEEE trial at Tesco, Bar Hill, on June 10.

Since the bottle banks - under-used since HDC started kerbside glass collections two years ago - were withdrawn in April, the council has so far provided textile banks at Cattle Market and Globe Place car parks in St Ives, Church Street car park in Somersham, Ramsey Mews Close car park, Ramsey, Riverside park and Tebbutts Road car parks in St Neots, the leisure centre in St Peter's Road, Huntingdon, and at Riverside Park, Sainsbury's and Trinity Street car parks in the town, Bridge Place car park, Godmanchester, and at the village halls in Church Street, Catworth, and Main Street, Old Weston.

There are further plans for textile banks at Bury and Warboys, HDC said this week.

NOTE: County council recycling centres will be open on bank holiday Monday.