Surrey County Council has spent £14,130 on producing its latest free newspaper, "Environment News", with a supplement on waste.

The twice yearly 28-page tabloid, much of it in full colour, was produced by the Corporate Communications department of the council, which has a staff of about 20 full time employees.

The cost is offset by £2000 in advertising revenue from private firms.

Some 50,000 issues were printed with some being mailed out to individuals, residents' associations and amenity groups, and the rest left in stacks at libraries, council offices and other public places.

The cost breakdown is as follows: £6,870 to print and £1,600 to design the main paper; £4,300 to print the supplement and £960 to design it. Distribution costs are £400.

Another £400 is spent on audio tapes of the newspaper for the blind.

Inside the newspaper is a "special supplement" entitled "Waste" and asking on the cover: "Reduce Surrey's Waste - are you doing your bit?"

There is also a small item on Pg 19 saying that it costs Surrey taxpayers over £24 million to dispose of household waste every year.

A spokesman said that the newspaper was very popular and very few if any were left over.

"It provides a service for environmental groups, amenity groups, charities and district council because we feature their stories free of charge," said the spokesman.

Chris McCarthy, Executive Director for Sustainable Development at the county council, said: "We've had a very positive reaction from our readers to the new look. This issue also has a free supplement on waste and how we can help the environment.

"I would urge everyone to do their bit to minimise their waste and recycle and this magazine has many handy hints on how to reduce, re-use and recycle your waste."

Picture: Left: Surrey County Council's new look magazine covering everything from walks and events in Surrey to the latest environmental news across the county. Right: The well-named "Waste", a free supplement on waste and how we can "help the environment". Both are "free" - but produced with Surrey taxpayers' money.