What goes in the clear recycling sack?

The clear sack is for items that can be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, cans and plastic bottles

Please recycle the following items in the clear recycling sack, or pink Eurobin if you have communal bins:

Paper and cardboard, including:

Clear sack and pink Eurobin
Clear recycling sack and Pink Eurobin
  • newspapers and magazines
  • shredded paper
  • writing/typing paper
  • paper envelopes with and without windows (padded envelopes go in the black sack)
  • leaflets and glossy pamphlets
  • cards
  • cardboard - breakdown so it can fit inside in the sack. Otherwise, please take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centres
  • clean pizza boxes (if greasy please place in black sack)
  • catalogues and directories

Plastic bottles and containers - washed, squashed and lid back on, including:

  • drinks bottles
  • milk bottles
  • detergent and bleach bottles
  • shampoo or shower gel bottles
  • yoghurt pots and margarine tubs
  • food trays, including black plastic (accepted here in MK)
  • fruit punnets
  • ready meal containers
  • bottles with triggers or pumps
  • disposable plastic cups and cutlery
  • loose plastic bottle caps/lids are also accepted

Cans and tins - rinsed out, including:

  • food tins
  • drink cans
  • pet food tins
  • sweet/biscuit tins
  • metal lids from bottles and jars
  • empty aerosol spray cans
  • Aluminium - rinsed out, including:
  • drinks cans
  • aluminium foil
  • aluminium food trays

Food and drink cartons (sometimes called Tetrapak), including:

  • fruit juice cartons
  • soup cartons
  • long life milk cartons

If you are unsure if an item can recycled in the clear sack please check the FAQs below, email customerservices@milton-keynes.gov.uk or call tel. 01908 252570. Recycling sacks containing the wrong items will not be collected. If in doubt, leave it out. 

Frequently asked questions

I have run out of clear sacks - how do I order more?
I live in flats with communal bins - can I have clear recycling sacks?
Why are your crew taking a picture?
Can I still use my pink sacks?
Do I have to clean my recycling?
What happens to my recycling?
Are the clear sacks recycled?
Why doesn't MK Council use wheeled bins?
Can I recycle plastic carrier bags in the clear sack?
Can I recycle clothes in the clear sack?

I have run out of sacks how do I order more?

Clear sacks are free and delivered to MK residents annually. Extra free recycling sacks can be ordered online or call tel. 01908 252570.

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I live in flats with communal bins. Can I have clear recycling sacks?

MK residents living in flats place their recycling loose into the pink Eurobins and are not entitled to recycling sacks. Where Eurobins are not provided we will still supply clear recycling sacks.

Why are your crew taking a picture?

When we deliver replacement rolls of sacks, or when there are issues during collection, our crews will take a picture to demonstrate that they have completed the delivery or to evidence the issue.  This allows us to ensure that replacement sack deliveries have been made to the correct property or to see the issue that the crew experienced during collection so we can take appropriate action.

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Can I still use my pink sacks?

Yes, if you still have pink sacks please continue using them. What we accept in the recycling sack has not changed.

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Do I have to clean my recycling?

Please give a quick rinse to your recycling before placing in the recycling sack.  Food or drink remnants left inside cans, plastic bottles, etc may make the sack attractive to pests.  Rinsing out also assists in the recycling process as all items need to be cleansed before they can be recycled. Please also squash down cardboard and plastic bottles so that you can fit more in the recycling sack.

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What happens to my recycling?

Clear recycling sacks are taken to MK Council’s Recycling Factory in Old Wolverton. Here the recycling is sorted and baled ready for transportation to be made into new recycled products. Find out more about what happens to your recycling.

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Are the clear sacks recycled?

Yes, clear recycling sacks are made of 100% recycled plastic and are recyclable.

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Why doesn't MK Council use wheeled bins?

The current Waste and Recycling collection contract was awarded in 2009. Prior to this MK residents were surveyed and favoured a weekly sack collection system, with the green wheeled bin for food and garden waste and separate blue box for glass. Recycling, rubbish and glass are collected on the same collection vehicle which dramatically reduces the number of vehicles required to deliver the service. Switching to wheeled bins is not an option until  the current contract expires in 2023.

Before the current contract ends there will be an Environmental Services Programme which will consider the various future waste collection options. In 2020 there will be a pilot of wheeled bins at properties around MK. 

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Can I recycle plastic carrier bags in the clear sack?

No, please do not place plastic carrier bags in the clear sack. The handles of carrier bags get wrapped around the Recycling Factory machinery and cause maintenance issues. Please take plastic carrier bags to your local supermarket to be recycled.

Can I recycle clothes in the clear sack?

No, please do not place clothing in the clear sack. Take good quality clothing to your local charity shop or the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Low quality, damaged or dirty clothing should be placed in the black rubbish bag, which is then turned into energy. We did previously accept clothing the recycling bag, but this stopped in 2015 as we were no longer able to meet the requirements of the textiles recycling industry, not MK Council choice. As a society we now throwaway large volumes of low grade textiles, & clothing that has been processed through our factory sometimes gets dirty and no longer accepted.

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Last Updated: 12 January 2021