The removal of the free garden and food waste recycling scheme played a large part in the sudden downfall of the recycling scheme. It's replacement with a £40 charge for a part year garden waste only service led to widespread rejection and a sudden fall in the recycling rate.
Not satisfied with that destruction applied to the councils recycling scheme in 2013 the council decided to target specific areas of the city to remove kerbside recycling while claiming this was due to contamination issues and the need to improve the street scene. Areas targeted were Arboretum, Normanton, Abbey and New Zealand (an area of Mackworth). What became clear was that the council was targeting specific streets - including my own in Normanton so it was time to start asking questions.
It soon became clear having made an FOI on the subject that the council had no evidence to back their targeting of specific streets such as my own as contamination is extracted at processing time.
FOI 4662 confirmed this
"Tonnage data at round/street level is not available for blue bins as contamination tonnages are assessed after processing. "
With that in mind I thought I might as well ask BIFFA the waste processor directly as they take in Derby blue bin material at their plant on Victory Road in Derby. Nobody is better placed to comment than the company that actually accepts the material so I spoke to Steve Norman Regional Operations Manager in September 2013 who answered with the following.
Q1 Does the Biffa MRF facility in Victory Road have the need to reject incoming loads delivered in by Derby City Council due to excessively contaminated material?
Answer: The site at Victory Road has not to date rejected loads delivered to it premises. On the whole the material received is of a good quality and contains very low levels of contamination.
In the end kerbside recycling was removed from Arboretum with the provision of a restricted number of bring sites - which regularly attract fly tipping.
Recycling removal was reported here on Letsrecycle http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/derby-to-trial-recycling-collections-removal/
Move on a year and a bit like groundhog day the council wheeled out a plan to remove recycling from restricted areas of the New Zealand area of Mackworth ward - claiming once again that bins were contaminated. A classic Derby City Council consultation took place where residents responded asking to keep the recycling service only for them to be ignored with 2 out of 3 local councillors those being Cllrs Pegg and Whitby concluding the kerbside recycling should be removed. The story was covered by the Derby Telegraph in October 2014 - currently the scheme has yet to be removed - http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/BINS-CONTROVERSY-Blue-recycling-bin-collections/story-23787235-detail/story.html
After the rather undemocratic situation in the New Zealand area of the Mackworth ward the city decided why bother asking residents at all and so promptly announced they were going to remove kerbside recycling services from more streets in Arboretum and extend this into areas of the Normanton which is an area of the city the local Neighbourhood Board decided they did not want kerbside recycling removed from. This situation was reported recently on the Resource website http://resource.co/article/derby-remove-recycling-bins-more-households-6952
By this point I had already made an FOI into blue bin contamination because I recognised it was best practice since my investigations had taken place a year earlier and things could have changed.
FOI 6346 was put in to the council in September 2014 the councils own FOI dept responded to my question shown below -
It struck me that maybe I wasn't clear about the period I was interested in so I returned to the FOI dept for clarity which is shown below.