A new kind of vending machine being trialled in Dorchester gives cash for trash.

Residents can try out the ‘reverse vending machine’ – a new scheme that pays people to pick litter tomorrow outside Lloyds bank in South Street.

The scheme is a partnership between the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Litter Free Dorset.

Empty bottles and cans are fed into the machine in return for tokens. Tokens can then either be redeemed for cash (10p per item) or donated to CPRE to fund litter-picking equipment.

The scheme's being trialled across the country by CPRE. Data will be collected on the numbers, sizes and materials of drink containers that are littering the streets and countryside before being submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) upcoming consultation on the scope of this deposit return system.

Similar systems around the world have helped boost recycle rates as high as 97 per cent.

Councillor Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for natural and built environment at Dorset County Council, said: "Through the collective effort of local people and communities we can banish bottles and cans from our parks, towns, fields and hedgerows for good.

"The reverse vending machine is a great way for families with small children to turn litter-picking into something fun – and get money back as a reward."

Maddy Haughton-Boakes from CPRE said:"We'll be counting all the bottles and cans we collect to give the government evidence to design the best deposit return system – which should help transform the countryside back to a beautiful, litter-free state.

"If the deposit system is set up by the Government to collect drinks containers of all materials and sizes, this harmful littered eyesore could soon be a thing of the past."