AN IMAGE of an elephant is being used on waste trucks to encourage residents to recycle.

The designs are part of Copeland Council's one year anniversary of its kerbside recycling service, in which residents recycled 3,354 tonnes - equivalent to the weight of 650 elephants.

The elephant-themed designs thank residents for their environmental commitment, and highlight the need for this to continue.

The council has used the elephant theme throughout its celebrations of the first year of recycling - an impressive baby elephant sculpture was created from waste materials by artist Sue Jackson and art students at Lillyhall's Lakes College.

Mayor Mike Starkie said: "Seeing these interesting designs on the streets of Copeland will remind residents of the 'tonnes' of good they are doing for our environment when they recycle.

"This is the first year that we have collected card, paper, glass, plastic and metal from the homes of around 96 per cent of our residents. People have responded fantastically and we want to improve our recycling rates even more."

During the first year of the revamped recycling scheme crews collected 3,354 tonnes of materials – 53 per cent more than the previous year.

A further 1,300 tonnes was collected through the network of community recycling sites and 4,600 tonnes of garden waste was sent for composting - making a grand total of 9,300 tonnes of recycled waste.

Free craft sessions, to create elephants from plastic bottles, continue at the Beacon Portal in Whitehaven, each weekend in May, including bank holidays, and all of the half term school holiday.

Those who leave their creations behind will have them entered into a competition. Find out more at

Visitors can also see the elephant sculpture by local artist Sue Jackson. The impressive structure is created from recycled materials inside a wire frame and was made with help from students at Lakes College. It will visit various locations over the summer to encourage people to recycle more.

Visit to find out more about Copeland borough council's kerbside recycling scheme.