Green bin charges to be introduced in MK

    Milton Keynes Council plans to introduce an annual charge for households for collection of their green bins.

    The changes form part of a new five year Waste Strategy which will be recieved by Milton Keynes Councils' cabinet next Tuesday.

    Council proposals also mean that pink sacks will no longer be available to pick up at outlets but rather residents will be able to request a new roll of sacks from the Council when they run out. 

    The annual distribution of an 80-sack roll will continue.

    It costs the Council £25m per year for MK’s waste collection and disposal plus related services including street cleaning and litter collection. However, services will need to cope with extra demand from an expected 5,600 new homes being built in MK by 2021. 

    The overall goal of the Strategy is for local people to receive a high quality service despite the Council having less money to spend per household managing waste in the future. 

    While some cash strapped councils have moved to 3 and 4 weekly collections elsewhere, the draft Strategy proposes MK collections will remain weekly for the foreseeable future.

    Instead, better quality household recycling – with fewer non-recyclables mixed in - is needed to cope with the increase in demand.  Around 52% of MK’s rubbish is currently recycled but this amount could be increased significantly if all households recycled their food waste, glass and other recyclables.

    Less than half of all local authorities recycle food waste but in Milton Keynes the food and garden waste collections have been in place for several years.

    The new MK Waste Recovery Park (MKWRP) will be able to process more black sack waste which will reduce the amount we send to landfill to under 5%.

    Contaminated pink sacks continues to be a significant and costly problem as items are placed in these sacks that shouldn’t go in there such as disposable nappies or food waste. Extra processing is required to deal with these sacks costing the Council extra. Food waste in black or pink sacks attracts animals too who rip open the bags creating additional work for our street cleansing team.

    The Waste Strategy aims to educate residents more to understand what can and can’t be recycled to improve the quantity and quality of recycling.  These are mostly small changes that can make a big difference.

    Other features of the strategy will include a review of how the Council receives and handles commercial trade waste, reviewing the three Community Recycling Centres (tips), the introduction of charges for garden waste collections and changes to how the pink sacks are distributed.

    Cllr Martin Gowans, Cabinet Member for Waste & Recycling said “Around 90% of people say they’re satisfied with waste collection in MK, and we want that to stay the case.  You’ve told us weekly waste and recycling collection is important, and we’ve listened.”

    “Cuts and increased pressure on services means we’re in a tough position where the Council just can’t do everything we used to, which is why we’ve had to look at increasing the amount we recycle and educating people about what can be recycled using which receptacle.  MK isn’t like everywhere else, and as a place we show a lot of community spirit – if we each play a part in keeping MK tidy and green including careful recycling then everyone benefits.”

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