Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Waste and Recycling is collected weekly in Milton Keynes using: pink sacks for mixed recyclables, a green bin for food and garden waste, blue boxes for glass, a yellow bag for batteries and black sacks for anything that can't go in the other bins. Click here to see what can be added to your pink sack
There are 26 black sacks
for residual waste and 80 pink sacks
for recycling delivered each year to households. These should be used in conjunction with a green bin
for food and garden waste and a blue box
for glass. No glass should go in the pink sack otherwise it will not be collected.
The pink and black sacks are usually delivered between late July and September.
What if I run out of BLACK sacks?
We deliver one roll of 26 black sacks to residents once a year, at the same time as the pink sacks. If you require additional black sacks you can purchase them from the following Community Recycling Centres and Council Offices:
- Chesney Wold, Bleak Hall, MK6 1NE
- North Crawley Road, Newport Pagnell, MK16 9HG
- Newport Road, New Bradwell, MK13 0AH
- Bletchley & Fenny Stratford Town Council Offices, 74-76 Queensway, Bletchley, MK2 2SA
Alternatively you can purchase black sacks from most supermarkets and general stores.
What do I do if I have not received my pink sacks?
If you have problems with pink sack delivery ring our helpline on 01908 25 25 70, or email email@example.com
. If you require additional pink sacks, these are available at various locations across Milton Keynes.Click here for Pink Sack Outlets
What items should I put in my pink sack, green bin and blue box?
We have prepared a Quick Guide to Recycling
which shows what should go in your pink sack, green bin or blue box.
What happens to all the recycling?
The collection vehicle has two compartments at the back and a "pod" at the front. The glass goes into the "pod". The pink sacks go into one of the compartments at the back, and the black sacks into the other.
The pink sacks and the glass are unloaded at the council's Materials Recycling Facility
where special machinery is installed to handle the pink sacks. The black sacks go to landfill.
What if I put rubbish in my pink sacks?
Your pink sack will not be collected. You will be asked to re-sort your pink sack contents into black sacks. Residents only receive one black sack per fortnight per property as using our recycling scheme properly reduces the need to fill black sacks. If you need additional black sacks you will have to buy them yourself. We are trying to encourage recycling!
Is the pink sack recyclable?
Yes, they can be used to make new refuse sacks or wire insulation.
What if I don't have a blue box?
Complete our online form
, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or ring our helpline to order one on 01908 252570.
If you have an old red box from the previous recycling scheme, you can use this instead of a blue box, PROVIDED you only put glass bottles and jars in it.
Do I need to remove the labels from plastics, cans, or glass bottles before recycling them?
No, the labels are removed during the recycling process. There is no need to remove them before putting them in your kerbside containers or local recycling point. The labels will disintegrate and be removed when the cans or bottles are washed and processed for recycling.
Can I put anything with a recycling symbol on it in my pink sack?
Since 2009 we have been able to accept cartons (like Tetra Pak), clean yoghurt pots, clean margerine tubs, clean rigid food trays (but not the expanded foam variety) and aerosols. Unfortunately there are still a few items with "recycling" symbols which we cannot accept. Please refer to our list for what can and cannot be put in the pink bag.
What happens to the cartons?
The cartons are sorted out at the recycling factory. The collected material is baled and shipped to Sweden. Once in Sweden the material is taken to a paper mill where it is then reprocessed into plasterboard liner.
The statistics work out to be approximately 70% recycled material and approximately 30% energy from waste to power the plant.
Carton recyclers in the UK are presently seeking a mill that can recycle 100% carton.
Can I recycle shredded paper?
Ideally you should only be shredding confidential documents and not all paper. Recycling paper works best when the sheets are larger as this means the fibres within it are longer and can be recycled a greater number of times.
If you do have shredded paper the best thing to do with it, is put in your home compost bin. It will add useful dry/brown material to balance the wet/green kitchen waste you are putting in. Otherwise if you have pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs, use the shredded paper as animal bedding.
Is recycling paper really better for the environment?
When compared with the environmental impact of producing paper from raw materials and disposing of it post use via incineration or landfill, there are clear environmental benefits to producing paper from recovered fibre. Pulp and paper production is an energy intensive activity but remanufacturing paper from recovered fibre leads to significant reductions in energy consumption. On average, producing paper from recovered fibre uses about half of the energy required to produce paper from virgin tree fibre, even taking into account the energy that can be recovered if the latter is incinerated post use.
The savings arise because most of the energy used in papermaking is consumed during the pulping stage. In addition to using less energy, recycling paper uses less water than producing virgin paper,and produces less air and water pollution. Furthermore, recycling paper is significantly more environmentally beneficial than allowing it to biodegrade in landfill, where it produces methane – a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
It is estimated that the 8 million tonnes of paper recovered in the UK in 2006 saved around
10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions, which equates to taking 3 million cars off the road.
Why do I need to take the tops off plastic and glass bottles before recycling them?
You should remove the tops from plastic bottles so that they can be baled more efficiently and safely. It can be difficult to flatten bottles with the tops on because air is trapped inside, and the tops can cause a litter problem by falling off when the bottles are baled. In addition, the tops are often made from a different material to the bottle and so cannot be recycled by the same process. You do not need to remove the plastic collar from around the bottle top, as reprocessors can deal with this safely. The top can also go in your pink sack. A few bottles have a type of lid that is not designed to be removed. If this is the case, just leave them on.
Metal lids and tops from glass bottles and jars can be put in your pink sack.
Why do I need to rinse out plastic, glass and cans before recycling them?
All of your containers should be rinsed before you put them in your kerbside recycling container or local recycling point. This ensures that any debris is removed to avoid contaminating the recycling process. This will also prevent your kerbside container or recycling point from becoming dirty and/or smelly.
What can I do with plastic carrier bags?
You can reuse plastic bags by taking them to the shops to use again. Most supermarkets sell strong, reusable 'Bags for Life' or you can buy cloth/cotton bags and take these out with you when you go shopping. Larger branches of the major supermarkets often provide recycling points for plastic bags.
A major problem with recycling plastic bags is that there are many different types of ‘plastic’ bag. Some are made from plastic but others are made of biodegradable materials or cornstarch which are contaminants in the plastic recycling process.
Clean plastic bags can go in pink sacks; please try to avoid putting biodegradable or cornstarch bags in.
What happens to plastics when they are collected for recycling?
Plastics that are collected for recycling are sorted, washed, granulated, melted down and recycled into various items, such as garden furniture, bin liners and compost bins. Below are some other uses of recycled plastic:
Buckets and containers
Clothing, eg fleeces
Film, eg grocery bags
New plastic bottles
Polyester fibre and fabric
For more information about plastic recycling, please visit:
WRAP Plastics Recycling Pages