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Fallout over proposed Derby recycling cutback

Residents, councillors and environmental groups have been pointing the finger after Derby City Council outlined plans to stop recycling in around 140 inner city streets.

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and Streetpride, described it as a “radical proposal” but said schemes to educate people on how to recycle in the affected wards had not been successful. If the plans go through it is estimated to save around £1.2m.

Reports in the Derby Telegraph have revealed local uproar over the proposals.

Ashley Waterhouse, of the Normanton Empowerment Team, told the paper more needed to be done to educate local people.

He said: “Stopping the collections will not stop people fly-tipping, as is suggested. It will, overall, cost more as fly-tipping will not stop because the recycling collections have stopped. And the council will have to pay for weekly black bin collections as well as the fly-tipping costs.

“Derby has a good record for recycling and we don’t want that to stop.”

Labour councillor Paul Pegg was reported as saying the problem was mainly down to students not recycling properly, despite efforts to educate them through leaflets and freshers’ day visits.

But a spokesperson for the University of Derby reportedly said its Student Union “actively encourage the community of students and staff to recycle” and added: “Our efforts to do so have been recognised. We are currently rated First Class by the People and Planet Green League, and the union received an award from the NUS for environmental achievements.”

Simon Bacon, chairman of Sinfin and Spondon Against Incineration, told the paper he was “horrified”. He added: “To stop recycling stops those who do recycle from doing so – that cannot possibly be right.”

But a local resident was quoted as saying she understood the proposal as “not many” residents recycled properly.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee said that each authority was best placed to decide what it right for it. Chair Joy Blizzard said: “Quality of recycling is a huge issue. There may be instances where, despite an authority’s best efforts, contamination is so bad that it causes problems and costs out of proportion to the benefits.”

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