White Christmas? Now go green...

SHOPPING centre bosses are urging people to go green by recycling their Christmas cards.

Staff at the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre want to help Hartlepool residents kick off their New Year's resolution to become more environmentally aware by offering a Christmas card recycling bin.

The Christmas card recycling area is the old Alvin's Cafe unit located opposite Grainger Games and Officers Club.

Anyone interested in taking part is urged to just post all their Christmas cards through the letter box and help the environment in 2011 rather than add the festive cards to the UK landfills.

Bosses say that more than 641 million cards are sent in the UK and taking part in a recycling scheme really will make a difference if the people of Hartlepool recycle rather than rubbish its cards.

Shopping centre manager Mark Rycraft said: "All of us at Middleton Grange strongly believe in minimising damage to our precious environment.

"When we saw how many Christmas cards we all had between us, we thought that it would be a great idea to offer recycling to all our shoppers to complement the existing facilities we already have in the centre."

The shopping centre is a strong supporter of green initiatives.

It has an "environmental wall" where people can dispose of cans, plastic cartons, paper and cardboard packaging in recycling bins.

It also has its own Earth Team which consists of centre staff who review issues such as the way the centre uses electricity and gas, as well as looking at other green initiatives.

The centre also won the Community and Environment category at last year's Hartlepool Business Awards after judges heard how 70 per cent of its waste was recycled.

The centre has reduced its annual energy output by 70 per cent and bales all of its cardboard.