A change to the recycling collection method is currently being trialled in Ulverston.

The trial is exploring the viability of collecting mixed recyclables together and then sorting them later.

Householders involved with the trial have been encouraged to continue separating recycling into blue boxes and bags as they were doing before, as the trial's purpose is to determine the viability of collecting mixed recyclables which can be sorted later.

A rear-loading vehicle is being used for the trial in order to improve accessibility to narrow streets and back alleys.

It is part of the council's efforts to harmonise waste and recycling services throughout Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland following local government reorganisation.

Westmorland and Furness Council hopes to use the information collected to inform future decisions about services.

The trial, dubbed a "co-mingled" recycling collection, began on January 29 on one round in Ulverston.

Councillor Dyan Jones, cabinet member for customer and waste services, said: "Westmorland and Furness Council is committed to improving and harmonising many of its services, to ultimately ensure that services are all delivered in the same way, and to the same consistent standard, across the whole of the new authority area.

"We understand residents frustrations that services differ between the localities and I can assure everybody that everybody at the council shares those frustrations and is totally committed to sorting it out as quickly as we can."

The potential benefits of the new "co-mingled" recycling method include improved safety for crews due to the use of rear-loading vehicles, less sorting for residents and improved access to certain areas.

Cllr Jones also noted how advancements in sorting facilities and technology make the idea of co-mingling a possibility to explore.

There are hopes that harmonising the recycling services will not only make the process simpler for residents, but also result in cost savings that can be re-invested back into the service.

Higher recycling rates are also anticipated as a result of these changes.

Cllr Jones added: "We also need to say a massive thank you in advance to residents on the trial round.

"In the long run, making everybody's collections the same will bring benefits for all, including simplification for residents, cost savings that can be re-invested in the service and higher recycling rates."