THOUSANDS of households across Darlington have signed up for this year's garden waste collection service

Due to Covid-19 restrictions the start of this year's collections had been delayed by a month and instead started in May.

By the end of May 6,357 households had signed up to the service and paid the annual fee of £35.

Darlington Borough Council, which runs the scheme, has seen an increase of 1,496 sign-ups since last year, when 4,861 paid for the service.

Between April and November last year, more than 1,300 tonnes of garden waste was collected and recycled to become agricultural fertiliser.

Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services, said: “Many of those who signed up this year took part last year, and it’s great to see that, despite a delayed start, so many more residents have signed up for what has proved to be a popular and very useful service.

“We’ll be extending this year’s collections into early December to make up for those we were unable to carry out in April, and we would like to thank all our residents for their understanding and patience during what has been a very challenging period.”

Those households that haven't signed up for this years service can sign up for the usual annual fee of £35, however, they will only receive the remaining collections for this year and will still pay the same price.

New and existing members of the service will be sent a sticker which should be attached to their bin so the bin collection crews can easily see that the service has been paid for.

Due to high demand, the council's garden waste bin stock has sold out.

New stock will be arriving next week.

Darlington Borough Council currently allow grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, twigs and small branches, hanging basket contents, weeds and plants, leaves and cut flowers and house plants in their garden waste bins.

They will not collect bins containing bags or plastic, soil, rubble, stone turf, general waste, food waste, animal waste, Japanese knotweed or Ragwort.

Those with smaller gardens are allowed to share their garden waste bin with a neighbour as the charge is per bin.

Moreover, those with bigger gardens can have up to four waste bins per household, however, they will have to pay for each bin used.

More information can be found on the Darlington Borough Council website.