City council goes even greener

MKCC waste vehicle

Milton Keynes City Council has set out some of the new ways it will cut carbon emissions as part of work to become carbon neutral by 2030 and tackle climate change.

The city council spends around £70m each year on environment and waste services, its second biggest spend after social care, covering work from collecting the city’s waste to keeping trees and open spaces in good condition, and much more besides. As such, the area plays a big role in the council’s green ambitions and in delivering a more sustainable city for residents.

Last year the city council invested in new state-of-the-art electric waste collection vehicles and rolled out wheelie bins with the aim of becoming the UK’s greenest weekly waste collection service. As a result, city recycling rates have already risen by more than a third.

Now a new report has been published that explains what the environment and waste teams will do in the run up to 2030 to help the council become even greener and more sustainable, and to mitigate some of the impacts of climate change that are already being felt in the UK.

Three key goals set out how the city council will use more renewable energy, lower its emissions, and create a ‘circular economy’ where resources can be reused.

Specific activities include:

  • Planting hundreds of new trees in urban centres to replace trees lost to disease.
  • Looking at provision of renewable heat and more renewable electricity for the city.
  • Moving to a fully electric fleet of waste and landscaping vehicles (currently around 25% is electric) powered by energy created from MK’s unrecyclable waste.
  • Increasing biodiversity within MK’s green spaces through a carefully considered grass cutting schedule and by planting more wildflowers.
  • Investing more than £500,000 in tackling the impact of local flooding.
  • Installing new equipment at MK’s waste processing facilities to further improve recycling.
“This is a significant set of actions that will really innovate how we work and tackle climate change, which is an essential commitment for local people, the environment and future generations. Moving towards net zero is vital for every organisation. We’re playing our part in tackling climate change and on keeping a focus on increasing biodiversity around the city.

Raising recycling rates by a third from introducing wheelie bins shows exactly the kind of positive impact we can have when we commit to a big change. I’m excited this work will contribute so much towards the city’s sustainability as well as getting the essentials right for local people.”
- Cabinet Member for the Public Realm, Cllr Jennifer Wilson-Marklew