For this month’s column, Ryedale Environmental Group focuses on the work in Kirby Misperton

RYEDALE’S smallest recycling centre has opened up again to allow local people to donate some of the materials that can be recycled, but are so often just thrown in the bin and destined for landfill.

The Kirby Misperton recycling centre, which had to be closed at the beginning of the lockdown, is now up and running again for anyone who wants to drop off some of those items that can’t go into kerbside recycling. And now visitors can take away some tasty treats as they drop off their items for recycling.

Not content to put all its activities on hold during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Kirby Misperton group has started a new initiative opening a herb garden in the village in Hardings Yard, a stone’s throw from their very popular mini recycling centre.

It has varieties of mint, basil, rosemary, borage, parsley, sage and chives, offering free and sustainable herbs to people living in the village as an alternative to over packaged herbs from shops and also encouraging healthy eating.

The recycling company Terracycle scheme forms the backbone of this scheme, which has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste. The Kirby Misperton recycling centre collects empty toothpaste tubes, make-up containers and pet food pouches.

The centre also takes printer cartridges that are sold to another recycling initiative, Recycle4Charity, and the proceeds are then given to the Woodhams Stone Collection, a social history group in Norton.

Milk bottle tops are donated to RemadeRecycled, a Sheffield based enterprise which repurposes them into stylish pens and lamps.

Another project assisted by the Ryedale Environmental Group (REG) is the Morsbags scheme, where unwanted cotton fabrics are converted into carrier bags for free distribution, reducing the use of single-use plastic bags.

Spare fabric to be made into Morsbags can also be dropped off at the recycling centre.

The most unusual item for recycling, however, must be mascara wands which are very handy for removing parasites such as ticks from animals. Donated wands are then passed on to the local wildlife charity Pickering Hedgehog Rescue to tend rescued hedgehogs prior to their re-release back into the wild.

Crisp packets are the most frequently donated items, with 16kg of crisp packets already collected for recycling. Collection of pet food pouches is also very significant.

Reflecting the ongoing need that has arisen during the coronavirus crisis, Kirby Misperton recycling centre has introduced a collection point for donations to the Ryedale Foodbank, which are collected weekly by volunteers.

Peter Winter, chairperson of REG, who helps run the village recycling centre, said: “We were keen to get the centre open again as soon as possible as people are still keen to recycle even during lockdown and many have been saving recyclable materials to bring to us once it became safe to do so.

“We are well aware that people may still have anxieties about visiting due to concerns about Covid-19, so we have provided hand-sanitiser at the centre for use before and after leaving donations.”