What goes in the green wheeled bin?

The green wheeled bin is for food and garden waste

Please place all food and garden waste in the green wheeled bin, unless you are home composting. Watch our information video for more advice on using your green bin.

MK residents may order a free green wheeled bin and grey kitchen caddy . The caddy assists with the daily collection of food waste in the kitchen, to then be emptied into the green wheeled bin. Alternatively place food waste onto a few sheets of newspaper, fold up and place straight into the green bin.

FGW bin selection
Grey kitchen caddy, Green wheeled bin and smaller green bin for flats
  • All Food Waste, including
  • all meat and bones - cooked or raw
  • fish
  • fruit and vegetables
  • bread and pastries
  • dairy products
  • tea bags and loose tea and coffee
  • all leftover food, plate scrapings
  • food that is out of date or mouldy
  • pet food leftovers
  • compostable disposable cups which comply & are visibly stamped with standard EN13432 (see advice below in FAQs)
  • All garden waste, including
  • grass clippings
  • garden plants
  • weeds
  • leaves and twigs
  • dead flowers
  • windfall fruit
  • small branches, under 15cm in diameter

If you are unsure if an item can recycled in the green food and garden waste bin please check the FAQs below, email customerservices@milton-keynes.gov.uk or call tel. 01908 252570. There are some items we can't accept that can be home composted instead.

Green bins which contain the incorrect items will not be collected. It is the resident's responsibility to remove the contamination.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Do I have to use the grey kitchen caddy?
  2. Can I use caddy liners?
  3. Can I use a biodegradable plastic bag?
  4. Can I put my caddy out for collection?
  5. Can I put animal waste in the green bin?
  6. Can I put disposable coffee cups in the green bin?
  7. I’m worried about hygiene, smells and flies
  8. I don’t have space for the wheeled bin outside, is there a smaller alternative?
  9. How can I clean my wheeled bin?
  10. What happens to my food and garden waste?
  11. Isn’t it better not to have any food waste?
  12. Can I put biodegradable nappies in the green bin?

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Do I have to use the grey kitchen caddy?

No, the important thing is that food waste ends up in the green wheeled bin, not the black sack. The kitchen caddy is useful for collecting food waste to then transfer to the green bin outside. If you want to buy your own caddy or just use a piece of newspaper to collect vegetable peelings, etc.. that’s fine.

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seedling logo green 1.gif
Compostable standard required

Can I use caddy liners?

Yes, you may line your caddy with paper or corn starch liners as long as they meet the standard EN13432 and the Seedling logo is visible on the bags. Alternatively use a few sheets of newspaper, ordinary used writing paper, plain junk mail or plain brown paper bags. 

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Can I use a biodegradable plastic bag?

Biodegradable does not mean compostable and so must not be placed in the caddy or green wheeled bin.

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Can I put my caddy out for collection?

No, it is intended for indoor use only.

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Can I put animal waste in the green bin?

No, we do not accept any animal waste, even from a vegetarian animal, animal bedding, hay, sawdust, fur or hair clippings or dead animals in the green wheeled bin. Please place these items on the black bin bag. Animal waste from a vegetarian animal can be home composted.

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Can I put disposable coffee cups in the green bin?

MK Council can only compost cups that display the EN13432 standard/Seedling logo. These meet with our requirements of decomposition at the In-vessel composting facility that food and garden waste in sent to, & are also easily recognisable for the bin crews. Ultimately we do not want large amounts of them sent to the composting facility as it cannot accept too much cardboard. As a department we would much prefer the reuse of crockery mugs or reusable mugs. Everyday disposable coffee cups should go in the black rubbish bag where they will be sent to the MK Waste Recovery Park and ultimately turned into electricity. Compostable cups that do not display the EN13432 standard/Seedling logo can be home composted.

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I’m worried about hygiene, smells and flies

Please follow basic food hygiene principles :

  • Store your caddy or any other food waste container away from food preparation areas, as you would any ordinary kitchen bin.
  • Always shut the lid of the caddy and the green wheeled bin immediately after putting waste in.
  • Lining the caddy with newspaper keeps it cleaner
  • Clean the caddy ( or any other container) frequently, as you would any ordinary bin
  • Don’t store large quantities of food waste in the kitchen
  • Don’t store food waste in the kitchen for long periods, transfer the food waste to the outside bin daily.  If the food waste is mouldy, smelly, higher risk such as raw meat, or you have any other worries about it, wrap it in newspaper and take it straight to the outside wheeled bin.
  • Keep a stock of newspaper handy to wrap your food waste and/ or to line the caddy.
  • Put your green wheeled bin out for collection every week that there is waste in it, no matter how small the amount (we don’t mind – we’re coming down your road anyway!)

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I don’t have space for the wheeled bin outside, is there a smaller alternative?

Homes with little outside storage space can be supplied with a 23 litre green bin instead of a wheeled bin.  A small number of properties in MK do not have appropriate access for a wheeled bin but have too much garden waste for a 23 litre bin - in these rare circumstances we can provide wet strength paper sacks, but we do not supply them to any property where a wheeled bin is more suitable.  Please contact 01908 252570 or customerservices@milton-keynes.gov.uk to request a changeover.

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How can I clean my wheeled bin?

It is best to wrap all food waste in newspaper and make sure to put your bin out for collection each week, to reduce the need for cleaning. There are lots of tips on his on the internet such as using hot soapy water or disinfectant and a yard broom.  You can also use a bin cleaning serviceif you don’t want to do this yourself. 

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What happens to my food and garden waste?

Food and garden waste is sent to an In-vessel composting facility in Cambridgeshire to create a low grade soil conditioner for agriculture.

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Isn’t it better not to have any food waste?

Yes!  You could save yourself (and the Council) a lot of money. A really useful website to help you reduce your food waste is Love Food Hate Waste. Advice here includes planning meals, making a shopping list, how to use leftovers, calculating portion sizes, understanding Best Before dates and more.

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Can I put biodegradable nappies in the green bin?

No, biodegradable nappies must not be placed in the green bin. These are only suitable for home composting.

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Last Updated: 13 March 2019