THE first Middlesbrough residents to strike gold by going green have been found.

A town-wide initiative has been launched in recent weeks to reward those who are following the recycling ‘golden rules’ with a £50 voucher to be spent in the Cleveland Centre.

Middlesbrough Council’s environmental education team are randomly selecting a street each week and lifting the lid on the blue-lidded bins put out for collection to find residents eligible for the prize draw.

The first group of winners were invited for a tour of Middlesbrough Town Hall to collect their prize.

Among them were Sarah Burrow, 33, and Darren Whitfield, 47, who brought their little boy Oliver, two.

Sarah said: “It’s important to recycle and the right thing to do. We have an eco-bin in our kitchen and that makes it easier.

“I had read the leaflets that went through the door and hoped to win but you don’t expect to. It’s nice that your efforts are noticed.”

Cllr Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “We were delighted to meet the first winners under this scheme and it was particularly nice to hear how recycling is something they have done pro-actively to the point it has become second nature.

“We also want to say a big thank you to everyone in the town who does their bit and recycles waste properly – even if they weren’t drawn out of the hat this time it doesn’t mean their efforts have gone unnoticed.”

To be eligible bins need to be at the kerbside before 7am. Residents who recycle using clear plastic sacks are also eligible.

  • For more information on the competition, how to recycle or to download a recycling and refuse collection calendar visit Winners will need to be available for publicity and vouchers are non-transferable and valid for 12 months from date of issue.