What can I recycle in MK?

Most people are putting at least one thing they shouldn’t into their recycling. Please remember, just because something is recyclable does not mean we can recycle it in Milton Keynes

Graphic showing recycling bags and bin outside a house
                        MK recycles

What goes in the clear sack
What goes in the blue box
What goes in the green wheeled bin
What goes in the yellow bag
What goes in the black bin bag
What goes in the pink communal bin
What goes in the black communal bin

Alternatively see our A to Z of recycling in MK.

New Rules of Thumb

Are you recycling correctly image
           Let's get recycling right

Let's get recycling right. Follow our 5 rules of thumb to help you recycle correctly: 

  • Update your recycling knowledge. Just because it looks recyclable, doesn’t mean we can recycle it here in Milton Keynes.  

  • If in doubt, leave it out. Being a good recycler is as much about what you leave out of your recycling as what you put in. If you’re unsure about anything, check the listing below, ask us or put it in your black sack. 

  • No food or drink at all should ever go in your recycling. Rinse out containers as food, dry or wet, can ruin paper for recycling. 

  • Make sure items are empty, clean and dry. Wet and dirty items can spoil other recycling while it is being processed.  

  • Nothing else goes in your recycling. If you’re struggling with too much waste or aren’t sure how to recycle, get in touch and we can help.

 What goes in the clear recycling sack or communal pink Eurobin

Paper and cardboard allowed in MK Paper and cardboard not allowed in MK

Shredded paper
Paper envelopes, including window Envelopes
Cardboard, broken down so fits in the bag
Clean pizza boxes   
Milk and juice cartons

Padded envelopes 
Tissues, kitchen roll or cotton wool
Wet wipes or cleaning wipes 
Nappies (disposable or biodegradable)
Disposable or compostable coffee cups 
Laminated paper  
PPE disposable face masks

Plastics allowed in MK  Plastics not allowed in MK

Drinks and milk bottles – wash, squash and lid back on
Plastic bottles with pumps and triggers
Cleaning product bottles
Loose plastic lids from bottles and jars
Plastic pots, tubs and trays, including black plastic
Ready meal containers 
Disposable plastic cutlery

Items with food or drink still inside 
Plastic bags or cling film 
Bubble wrap
Fruit nets 
Crisp, biscuit or sweet packets or wrappers
Hard plastics e.g. toys 

 Metals allowed in MK Metals not allowed in MK
Food and drink cans
Pet food tins
Sweet and biscuit tins
Loose metal lids from bottles and jars
Empty aerosol sprays cans
Clean tin foil or foil food trays
Coffee capsules/pods 
Pet food pouches 
Metal pans or tools  

Other items not allowed:
Clothes, fabric or rags 
Broken glass or china 

Clear sack frequently asked questions

Order clear sacks

Alternatively contact our Customer Services on 01908 252570.

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What goes in the blue box

Glass allowed in MK Glass not allowed in MK
Glass bottles and glass jars only (lids removed – place in recycling sack) Broken glass (this can cause injuries)  
Drinking glasses or pyrex (this melts at a different temperature to glass bottles and jars so can’t be recycled by our plant)
Any other glass item such as perfume bottles, light bulbs or mirror

Blue box frequently asked questions 

Order blue box

Alternatively contact our Customer Services on 01908 252570.

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What goes in the green wheeled bin

Food and garden waste allowed in MK Food and garden waste not allowed in MK
All food waste, including: 
Raw or cooked meat, fish or bones
Fruit and vegetables including peelings
Tea bags and coffee grounds
Bread, baked goods
Dairy products
Mouldy or out of date food
Plate scrapings
Pet food
Dead flowers
Windfall fruit
Small branches up to 15 cm in diameter 
Branches over 15cm in diameter 
Japanese knotweed
Plant pots

Compostable cups and caddy liners stamped
with the standard EN13432 or display the 'Seedling logo' 


Other items labelled ‘biodegradable' (our plant cannot recycle these items)

All animal waste
Nappies (disposable or biodegradable) 

MK council supplies free grey kitchen caddies to residents to assist with the collection of food waste.

Green bin/grey caddy frequently asked questions 

Order a green bin or grey kitchen caddy

Alternatively contact our Customer Services on 01908 252570.

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What goes in the yellow bag

Batteries allowed in MK Batteries not allowed in MK

Household batteries

Mobile and laptop batteries 

Leaking batteries  

Car batteries (recycle at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre instead) 

Once full, place the yellow battery bag on top of your green wheeled bin on your bin collection day. Once collected a replacement yellow bag should be left under the lid of your wheeled bin. 

Yellow bag frequently asked questions

To order a free yellow battery bag please email customerservices@milton-keynes.gov.uk or call 01908 252570.

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What goes in the black bin bag or communal black Eurobin

Most common items that cannot be recycled by MK Council

Disposable nappies
Animal waste*, including dog poo, cat litter, hamster/gerbil bedding, etc.
Broken glass or china - please wrap to avoid injury
Wet wipes and sanitising wipes
Sanitary products
PPE disposable facemasks
Crisp packets
Biscuit wrappers
Sweet wrappers
Plastic film, e.g. clingfilm
Fruit nets
Disposable coffee cups
All tissues and kitchen towel
Greasy pizza box 
Laminated paper
Mixed materials, e.g pill packets, padded envelopes, Pringles tubes
Pet food pouches
Bubble wrap
Poor quality clothes

If not listed as recyclable, everything else goes in the black bin bag

* All animal waste must be double bagged and/or sealed before it is put in your black sack with your other non-recyclable waste. If it’s on its own and not double bagged, it might not be collected by our crews.

Black bin bags are not supplied by MK Council.

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Last Updated: 17 May 2022