Milton Keynes Council looking into creating a new recycling tip to cope with waste from south of the city

    The council is looking at developing a new recycling tip to help it cope with the amount of waste from residents in the south of the city.

    But leaders of Milton Keynes Council are facing criticism that they aren’t doing enough in the short term to create more slots for residents to book to get rid of their lockdown.

    Cllr Dan Gilbert (Cons, Loughton & Shenley) said: “I know the Labour cabinet is looking to develop a so-called “super tip” for the south of the city, but in the immediate term all efforts should be on helping residents dispose of a backlog of lockdown waste at our current sites.

    “Residents with weeks of lockdown waste are still struggling to access the tips, more than a month after the council re-opened its Household Waste Recycling Centres.”

    Cllr Gilbert, the opposition group’s spokesperson for public realm, says the ruling group should be being “more creative” and faster in generating more slots for people to book.

    This he said could mean opening the sites for longer, and adopting the Government’s new one metre-plus social distancing guidelines.

    Cllr Emily Darlington (Lab, Bletchley East) is the elected head of public realm at the council.

    She says the number of slots that people can book have “almost doubled” just this week and they are keeping the situation under regular review.

    On the subject of a possible “super tip” she said council officers have been tasked with coming up with a range of options.

    “Others who have been with the council longer than me say there has been a lack of waste capacity in the south of the city for some time,” said Cllr Darlington.

    “Coronavirus has highlighted that the site at Bleak Hall does not have enough capacity to cope with the demand.”

    A shortlist of options is due to be presented in weeks, including possibly closing Bleak Hall and opening a larger site, or having two sites. A new site could take between six months and one year to introduce, she said.

    Cllr Darlington said the bookings situation is being regularly reviewed, taking into account new advice and information.

    The revamped booking system allows people to book for 15 minute slots, instead of 30 minutes.

    Cllr Darlington said: “This feels about right as we have some people on their own, who have to go back and forward, and we have others who take a few minutes.

    “But we are meeting on a regular basis and keeping it all under review.”

    She added that they increased the number of hours “almost immediately” on May 18.

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