Waste collection pilot
Background to the pilot scheme
Milton Keynes Council is piloting a new waste and recycling collection scheme using wheeled bins and lidded boxes, covering almost 3,000 MK homes.
MK is one the top recyclers in the UK and was one of the first places in the country to introduce separate kerbside recycling collection in the 1990s. The waste collection pilot is part of MK Council’s ambition to be a cleaner, greener and safer place. 84% of councils in England supply their residents with wheeled bins. There are many advantages, including:
- Higher levels of recycling
- Lower rates of injuries for residents and staff moving sacks
- Less street litter from sack spillage
Around 20% of the recycling we receive is contaminated so we want to make sure one of our priorities is to improve the quality of materials we collect. Current arrangements mean that sacks left on the street can burst or be ripped open by animals. The use of wheeled bins in the pilot may also lead to increased recycling and less fly tipping. Business waste misuse will be more straight forward to monitor within the pilot area. Reports have been received that commercial waste is being wrongly put out for collection alongside domestic waste.
The pilot commenced on Monday 26 October 2020 and residents on the scheme were asked to provide feedback on their thoughts and experiences with the new collection system. The scheme was due to end in February 2021 but was then extended until the end of March 2021 to tie-in with the Waste Consultation decision making detailed below.
The waste consultation decision
The borough-wide 12-week consultation on waste and recycling ran from November 2020 until the end of January 2021 and gave all MK residents the chance to have their say on the future of waste services. Over 5,000 responses were received from residents. These responses, along with the feedback from residents on the pilot scheme, plus operational monitoring and data information collected, were all used to guide the council's decision for the future Waste and Recycling collections.
On the 23 March 2021 MK council took the decision that a new borough wide collection service contract will be introduced, with most residents using wheeled bins, from April 2023. Residents currently on the pilot scheme will remain so up to and into the new contract. We will be writing to residents shortly to confirm all the details.
- The Waste and Recycling Collection - 2023 Decision (PDF, 249KB)
- Waste consultation - data and summary (PDF, 221KB)
- Waste pilot - data and summary (PDF, 674KB)
- Waste pilot - visual of collection scheme (PDF, 247KB)
- Waste pilot - operational monitoring and data (PDF, 1.1MB)
The pilot area
The following areas are included in the pilot. Not all streets in each area will be included in the pilot, see the full street listing (PDF, 94KB).
- Grange Farm
- Lakes Estate (in part)
- Little Crawley
- Monkston (part)
- Monkston Park
- New Bradwell
- Water Eaton (part)
The homes were chosen to cover a wide range of properties, with gardens and outside spaces of various sizes including more rural areas too. All properties in the borough were surveyed by Keep Britain Tidy to check the suitability for wheeled bins or lidded boxes.
How the pilot scheme works
The pilot is a similar system to MK’s former red and blue collection system from the 1990s and the following is proposed:
- A grey wheeled bin collected weekly for residual waste
- A wheeled bin with a red lid for paper and card
- A wheeled bin with a blue lid for plastic, metals and glass
- A small yellow container to recycle batteries - this has now been discontinued and reverted back to the yellow battery bag
- No change to the food and garden waste wheeled bin
- No change to properties which currently receive a communal collection
Last Updated: 21 October 2021