A CAMPAIGN has been launched to get people to take more pride in the back lanes around their homes.

Darlington Borough Council is urging residents to take responsibility by keeping their bins in yards until collection day as part of its #OurStreets project.

Terraced areas of the town are often the worst affected by rubbish in the back streets where bins are left out for days before and after collection.

As a result, Councillor Nick Wallis, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, is calling for action to tackle the unsightly problem.

He said: “Complaints about the state of back lanes have grown in recent months, with many claiming fly tipping and bag slashing is on the increase. The fact is that the number of incidents has not changed but due to cuts to the Council’s budget we simply don’t have the resources to do as much as we did previously.

“However, the solution for many of the problems in the back lanes is quite simple, and is in the hands of householders themselves.

“If you leave your bin out overnight, or for days on end, it can become a target – the bin itself may be stolen or used by thieves; bag slashers are more likely to be active late at night or very early in the morning and the less time your bin is out, the less likely it is to be a target for arsonists or others.

“If the bin is not out in the back lane this won’t happen, so the message is clear – don’t put your bin out until collection day and bring it in as soon as possible the same day.

“Many local authorities are quite stringent and regularly fine residents for leaving bins out, but while we try to be more flexible and lenient, we can and will take action if we need to.”

According to the councillor, residents failing to adhere to the local authority’s recycling rules is adding to the problem.

He added: “We also need to stress the importance of putting the right waste in the right bin, particularly when it comes to recycling. We cannot empty recycling bins or containers that have the wrong items mixed in, because it would contaminate the whole load. This would cost the Council – and ultimately residents – money.

“If your bin is not emptied for this reason, then it’s down to you to then make your own arrangements for disposal – so we would ask residents to think about where they put their waste so it goes in the right bin.”

Refuse and recycling collections are carried out between 7am and 5pm and residents are urged not to put their bin out until the morning of their collection day.

And people can report any incidents of ‘fly tipping’ by emailing customerservices@darlington.gov.uk