Managing smells from our waste facilities

Milton Keynes Council’s waste sites, the MK Waste Recovery Park and the Materials Recycling Factory, operate to strict procedures and permit rules regulated by the Environment Agency.

How smells occur

We know the occasional smell can happen from:

  • the waste we receive
  • stored waste
  • the treatment process

From time to time, smells from vehicles when on the road may also happen which is the responsibility of the vehicle operators, not MK Council.

How we minimise smell

Smells which occur are treated by:

  • minimising the time waste is held on site and only permitted waste types are accepted
  • using fast closing doors, sucking the air into the building and flaring gas when needed
  • using filters and releasing emissions from high up chimneys

How to make a complaint.

If you wish to make a complaint please see the chart below, which is broken into smell types along with things to consider when reporting a smell. 

Contact the Environment Agency (EA) call centre on 0800 807060 and let them know that you are calling regarding Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park (MKWRP) or the Materials Recycling Factory (MRF).

To ensure that it’s dealt with quickly make sure you:

  • call at the earliest possibility
  • include the time, date and location where you have experienced the issue
  • if possible, note the wind direction
  • give a detailed description of the issue – if it is odour related try and describe the smell and how strong it is and has lasted for

The permit allows users to report issues. When MK Council receives notification, it is reported to the Environment Agency who may take further action.

Waste Odour Wheel

Smell complaints review

Milton Keynes Council commissioned a review into complaints about smells. The three documents are as follows:

Summary of findings

The review looked at 63 recorded complaints linked to 41 complaint days. The quality of the complaints showed some of the descriptions were objective and the odour complaints weren’t always given. Therefore, the analysis was limited to less than 63 complaints, which makes it difficult to be certain as to the cause.


Waste and Recycling team contact information

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