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Dear Santa Brown Christmas Trees and Broken Bikes Please


22 December 2009

This Christmas don't forget to give a present to Premier Waste - your Christmas Trees and unwanted and broken bikes!

Premier Waste Management, the region's leading independent waste management company is urging everyone across the region to remember to recycle this year, not only your cardboard, glass, metal, plastics and paper but also your Christmas Trees and bikes.

As Santa brings the children of the North East new bikes for Christmas don't forget to recycle your old and broken ones, and they can help people in our region as well as in Africa and Afghanistan. And by New Year your Christmas tree may be just a brown withering stick in the corner of the sitting room, but to Premier it is just waiting to be turned in to mulch and compost to put all the nutrients back in to the soil.

Premier Waste Management launched its bike recycling scheme last Christmas with over 300 bikes so far handed in. Working with charity Recyke y' Bike in Newcastle and social enterprise Sports Recycler in South Shields the broken and unwanted bikes have been reconditioned to help families in the North East and as far away as Africa and Afghanistan. Bikes sent to Africa and Afghanistan are used by medical professionals for transport in rural and previously inaccessible areas, while those in the North East are resold at a very low price to give everyone the opportunity to purchase them as a gift or for transport.

Real Christmas trees are also a valuable resource, biodegradable and full of nutrients. Last year Premier mulched 26 tonnes of Christmas trees, turning them in to a product that can be used to protect the roots of growing crops or in our parks and gardens, as well as a source of nutrients that are released slowly back in to the soils.

Ashley Cooper, managing director, Disposal Division Premier Waste commented: "Christmas is the time of the year where we create a huge amount of waste, and the majority of it can be recycled. Alongside recycling the wrapping paper and cardboard from your presents, excess food from Christmas dinner can be composted, and of course glass, plastic and metal can all be recycled too.

"But it is your Christmas tree and unwanted old bikes that really show that our waste is actually a resource that can benefit others. Your old bikes can help people across the world, while your tree can help grow next year's crop!"

Darren Smith, composting manager at Premier Waste added: "Real Christmas trees are far more environmentally friendly than plastic ones. Not only are they grown as crops for years taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, but after Christmas we can recycle them by turning them in to mulch and compost to put all their nutrients and organic matter back in to the earth. Compare that to plastic trees that are made using the ever decreasing oil resource and then shipped halfway across the world!"

Premier Waste Management is collecting bikes at its household recycling centres in Annfield Plain, County Durham, Middlefield Household Recycling Centre in South Tyneside, and Monument Park Municipal Recycling Facility in Washington.

Christmas trees can be taken to any of Premier Waste's household recycling centres, with many local authorities collecting from domestic properties.

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