AN Alnwick man received an early Christmas present this year following a clear-out.
John Wood won a cheque for £200 because he took an old electric shooting star light to be recycled.
Scratchcards are available to everyone who takes old small electrical and electronic items to their local household waste recovery centre in Northumberland during December and January, while stocks last.
Prizes totalling £2,000 are available and winners are in line to receive either one of 50 available £20 gift vouchers or one of five £200 cheques in a promotion aimed at increasing recycling rates.
John, from Allerburn Lea, said: “I was amazed when I scraped off the card to see that I had got a £200 prize – because I’ve never won anything in my life before.
“I do make regular visits to the household waste centre and try to do my bit to make sure that things can be recovered and reused. This will make me even more keen to do so in the future.”
Coun Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for waste management at Northumberland County Council, said: “People in Northumberland are very positive about recycling and it is great to see residents winning these prizes.
“We are always trying to think of new and cost-effective ways of increasing our recycling rates and I am sure that the thought of winning vouchers will spur others on to take their old electrical items to be recycled rather than throwing them away this festive season.”
Statistics show that Christmas is a popular time for people to replace electrical items and many of these are thrown in the waste bin when they could be recycled at a local household waste recovery centre.
The competition is open to Northumberland residents who visit a site with small electrical items like toasters, hair straighteners and kettles, which they can swap for a scratch-card.
One scratchcard per person per day can be exchanged and cards are being issued throughout December and January 2012 while stocks last.