GREEN-fingered residents in Basingstoke are now able to sign up to the borough council’s garden waste service for 2014.

The service, which is provided by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, starts on February 17 – just in time for spring as garden owners get busy gardening, mowing lawns and trimming hedges.

Residents will be given a weekday collection day, depending on which area in the borough they live, along with two sacks to collect their grass, trimmings, leaves, twigs, prunings and weeds when they sign up to the scheme, which will run until mid-December.

Users will be charged by the number of collections left when they join, meaning that any residents who sign up once the service has already started will only be charged for how many collections they will receive.

Green waste collected in the large, hard-wearing green bags is composted locally to produce bags of Pro-Grow, high quality organic soil conditioner to help gardens grow.

Last year, more than 6,000 residents in the borough joined the scheme, sending an impressive 1,505 tonnes of garden waste for composting.

Councillor Robert Donnell, Cabinet member for the environment and climate change, said: “The garden waste collection service is a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for residents to recycle their garden waste.

“The number of households signing up to the service increases every year, showing how popular the collections are.

“Signing up to the service saves residents trips to the household recycling centre with their garden waste or putting it in their grey bins, which they shouldn’t be.”