THOUSANDS of homes could help make Chester-le-Street a greener place through a recycling scheme.

The district council is launching a fortnightly household waste collection service for paper and glass aimed at reducing the amount of material that goes to landfill sites.

The green box collection bins will supplement weekly rubbish collections and the recycling banks.

About 10,000 homes will take part in a pilot scheme, at Great Lumley, Bournmoor, Ouston, Urpeth Grange, Beamish, parts of Chester-le-Street, North Lodge, Picktree Lodge and Village, Pelaw and South Pelaw.

The council hopes that residents will use the bins to dispose of paper products such as magazines, newspapers, brochures, junk mail, telephone directories, computing paper, clear and coloured glass jars and bottles.

Council chief executive Mick Waterson said: "This is a brilliant scheme that addresses the problems associated with putting waste into landfill sites."

The council's Local Agenda 21 officer, Mike Keenlyside, said: "We appreciate that this is a new scheme and recognise there may be some confusion in the beginning."

The collection boxes are being delivered to houses and the first collections are due to be made on Monday.

Anyone with a query about the scheme can call 0191-371 1040.