Residents in South Tyneside have been given more time to apply for a discounted rate for the collection of their garden waste.
South Tyneside Council is extending the deadline for its discounted rate for its green waste service until the end of this month.
A charge of £30 per green waste bin is being introduced from March in a bid to make the service cost neutral by 2020. However, anyone subscribing to the service by 31 January will receive the service at the discounted rate of £25. Residents opting to pay for three years in advance for the service will have their green bins emptied for just £65 - a saving of £25.
Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "We realise that with all the seasonal celebrations, applying for the garden waste service may not have been top of people's lists of things to do.
"However, with the festivities over, now is the perfect time to think about signing up to this service - and save some money in the process."
People who do not subscribe to the service can keep their garden waste bin but it will not be emptied. People can join the service after 31 January but will be charged the full subscription of £30.
Householders are under no obligation to sign up to the service and can still recycle their green waste at the Middlefields Recycling Village free of charge. The Recycling Village is open 9am to 6pm seven days a week. Alternatively people can make their own compost or buy a low-cost composting bin from the Council.
Councillor Smith added: "Unlike household waste, the Council does not have a statutory duty to collect green waste but we are keen to maintain a service for residents.
"While people are not obliged to subscribe to this service, I hope many residents will recognise the value and convenience of this service and understand the financial constraints within which we are working."
Green waste bins can be shared between neighbours which will reduce the cost to individual households.
To subscribe to the service, residents are encouraged to visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/greenwaste and make a single payment by debit or credit card.