What happens to my recycling?

Find out what happens to recycling, watch the video and book on a tour of the Recycling Factory

About the Recycling Factory

Milton Keynes Council Materials Recovery Facility is the first purpose-built recycling factory in the UK. Built in 1993, this state-of-the-art sorting facility, based in Old Wolverton, processes recycling from Milton Keynes' homes and schools, as well as other areas.

A one-pass lorry at the recycling factory

A range of technologies sort and separate the paper, cans and plastics, etc. which are then baled ready for transportation, to be made into new recycled products (PDF, 604KB) - we can even recycle the clear sack! The factory is normally operational Monday to Friday, 6am to 5pm, with occasional Saturdays for overtime and after Bank Holidays. Watch our factory video or see below to book onto one of our tours of the factory.

Public Tours

Public tours are free and only available to Milton Keynes residents. Visits include a look around our hands-on displays and an interesting presentation, which clarifies what can and cannot be recycled in Milton Keynes, what it is all recycled into and answer any questions you may have. There is also a video and 20 minute tour into the factory along a raised viewing gallery to see the machinery and staff at work. Children must be seven years or older for health and safety reasons. The facility is accessible to wheelchair users. These tours are popular so booking is essential.

  • Wednesday 27 February 2019, 10am to 12 noon - Fully booked, Waiting List only
  • Saturday 27 April 2019, 10am to 12 noon - Fully booked, Waiting List only
  • Saturday 1 June 2019, 10am to 12 noon
  • Saturday 31st August, 10am to 12 noon
  • Thursday 24th October, 10am to 12 noon

To book your place fill out the online booking form 

Recycling Factory address: Colts Holm Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5QD

Tours are also available at the new MK Waste Recovery Park where you can find out what happens to the rubbish in your black bin bags.

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School Tours

Free School trips to the Recycling Factory in Old Wolverton are hands-on, lively, educational, and are only available to Milton Keynes Schools. Visits include many curriculum links and aim to engage, enthuse and inform students about recycling, the environment and waste issues. The trip also helps students to understand that their actions make a difference. School trips are not available to schools outside the borough of Milton Keynes.

Book your school trip at the Schools Recycling Information page and download free classroom activities, crafts, wall displays and more to support your topic.

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Community Tours

Local community groups, e.g. Scouts, Brownies, WI, Rotary Club are not currently able to book tours the Recycling Factory. Alternatively free tours of the new MK Waste Recovery Park are now available.  Tours of the MKWRP explain how black bin bag waste is processed and also covers recycling in MK.

Commercial Tours

Commercial tours are available to packaging companies. These tours last 1.5 hour visit, including talk, video and tour of the factory at a cost of £150 per session.

To enquire about booking a Commercial Tour please complete the online booking request form 


All tours take place at the Recycling Factory, Colts Holm Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5QD

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Last Updated: 19 February 2019