Do you want to make a difference? Join the MK Eco Champions group! 

Eco Champions is a new group for MKCC staff, Parish and Town council staff, and interested local residents, to learn more about how they can help the environment both at home and at work. It is designed to increase eco knowledge levels, to help with everyday decisions and ideas to be more sustainable.

Becoming an Eco Champion

What's in it for me?

When you sign up you will receive:

  • a monthly e-newsletter with a fresh topic each month, such as recycling, composting, small daily sustainable choices, the wheeled bin roll out in 2023, etc
  • free on-line resources
  • opportunity to share your top tips and successes to inspire others too
  • invitation to future support events and meetings
  • MK Eco Champions enamel pin badge

What do I have to do?

You can give as much or as little time as you can to this role. Help us by sharing information and guiding those around you on how they can help the environment. Some examples are:

  • advising colleagues, residents, neighbours or colleagues about what can be recycled
  • ensure correct signage and posters for the waste and recycling bins in your work settings or other environments
  • look at ways to apply waste reduction, reuse and recycling in your working practices, home and other settings
  • share your success stories with us - we would love to hear what has worked well in your area

Sign up now!

If you would like to sign up to become an Eco Champion to receive our monthly e-newsletters and start making a difference, please email wasteeducation@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Advice for Eco Champions

Free resources

As an Eco Champion we have lots of free resources available to you - including posters, leaflets, articles for newsletters and noticeboards and more, on a range of topics.

Know your stuff!

To start, watch our Let’s Recycle Right video to get fully up to speed about what can be recycled in MK. It’s essential to keep up to date and not to always assume we already know what can and cannot be recycled.

Alternatively, check our webpages:

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mk-recycles - what goes in each recycling container and bin at home

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mk-recycles-a-to-z - alphabetical list of items and which bin they go in

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mk-recycles-what-happens - find out what recycling is turned into

At the office – good practice

  • place recycling and rubbish bins next to each other in a common area, no bins under desks.
  • good recycling happens when the bins are clearly defined and signed. Print off our free bin and information posters below. Keep posters looking fresh and prevent damage by laminating or place in frames.
  • ONLY shred security/confidential items, not all paper. Paper fibres are cut when shredded, reducing the number of times it can be recycled. Place the Shredded paper sign below near the shredder to inform staff.
  • use a reusable water bottles, mugs, plates, cutlery when at work – be a good example.
  • don't print out meeting agendas but have it on a screen instead.
  • before placing a Purchase Order find out if there are reusable/recycled version of the item, e.g. rechargeable batteries. Buy in bulk where possible. Check with suppliers that packaging is recyclable.
  • switch off tech and lights when not in use.

At home - good practice

We all need to not only get recycling right, but being an Eco Champion consider how small daily changes could help too. Here are some examples:

  • ensure everyone in your home, young and old, knows that it is important to get recycling right. Explain everyone can help out, not just leave it to you to sort out!
  • put up the recycling poster on your kitchen on your fridges.
  • buy plastic reusable plates and cutlery for family get togethers, not disposable plates and cutlery.
  • let your bin teach you. Have a look at what you throw away each week and consider what could be changed to a recycled or reusable version.
  • switch off tech and lights when not in use.

Why is getting recycling right important?

1. Helps our environment. Recycling and not littering helps to reduce pollution of waterways, streams and oceans.

2. Saves natural resources. Recycling paper means we don’t have to cut down more trees to make new paper. Recycling metal food and drinks cans reduces the amount of mining to dig up new metals. Recycling plastic means we use up less crude oil to make new plastic bottles and tubs.

3. It creates jobs. Recycling means there is employment for workers, drivers, designers, engineers and more.

4. Creates new products. Recycling creates new products for us to buy, and then recycle again and again.

5. Saves energy. Recycling saves energy and water when compared to creating brand new products.

6. It shows we care. Recycling at home, work and school shows that we care for the environment, nature and where we live.

Good news stories

Share your success stories and inspire others

Share you success stories and inspire others, e.g. a community litter pick, local eco event, an environmental project, improving bio diversity, etc.

Your hard work will be listed here and the best story of the month will make it into the newsletter.

Send in one or two sentences about your achievements, with photos and weblinks for more information if possible, to wasteeducation@milton-keynes.gov.uk 

Good news stories

  • The team at Family Contact Centre in Coffee Hall have placed new bin posters around the site to help staff better recycle. Staff are also collecting crisp packets to be recycled separately at the local supermarket.
  • Well done to the team at Ringway, MKCC Highways contractors who were awarded second place their company Workplace In Bloom competition. They have introduced a staff garden area with seating, cleverly reusing old PPE and traffic cones as part of their design. Find out more about their competition entry.
  • Saplings Children's centre in Fenny Stratford have done amazing work organising a Winter Coat Swap event. After a call out for donations of adult and children's coats, parents were invited to the centre to make a small donation for a winter coat. Saplings staff are also encouraging parents to buy second hand, helping to both save money and preventing textiles going to waste.
  • A group of parents at Saplings Children's centre have set up a second-hand toy project, taking in donations, cleaning up, packaging and making available to families for a small cost.  The aim of the project is to provide employment experience for the parents, the chosen project will allow parents to save money in the cost of living crisis and reduce the quantity of plastic going to waste. This is all part of new level 1 accredited employability course at the centre, facilitated by Community Learning
  • The MKCC Development Plans team always looking for ways to promote sustainable building practices and ‘designing out waste’. Their Planning Document, advising on sustainable building and reduction of construction waste from redevelopment schemes, received RTPI Southeast Regional Awards earlier in this year.
  • Colleagues at Hinton Lodge sheltered housing in Bletchley have all watched the Let's Recycle Right video to gain a better understanding of what can and cannot be recycled so they can advise their tenants correctly.
  • MK Connect, the new demand responsive transport service, are very proud to have been short listed in the transport category for the New Statesman Positive Impact Awards. 
Environment and Waste Education

Environment and Waste Education contact information

Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park (by appointment only), 9 Dickens Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5QF