REFUSE collections are being reorganised to cut costs.

Operating new routes, altering the method of collection and changing collection days will save Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council £200,000 a year.

The changes, introduced this week, will mean different collection days for 17,000 customers, and a different method of collection for about 3,000 properties.

Homes and businesses in the borough have been sent leaflets detailing the changes, drawn up after joint discussions between council officials, crews and trade unions.

The council is following Best Value practices by reducing the cost of collection per bin, in line with national indicators.

Bin men held two one-day strikes and operated an overtime ban at the end of last year, in a row over changes to work practices. The dispute was resolved after both sides agreed to a formula drawn up by Redcar MP Mo Mowlam.