Council praised for waste collection and recycling rates

MPMC David Hopkins
MPMC David Hopkins

Milton Keynes Council has been cited as a national example of an authority collecting waste each week and achieving high recycling rates.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has published the first ever official guidance to encourage councils to bring back weekly waste collections.

The 50-page “Guidance on Weekly Rubbish Collections” states: “It is a clear myth that councils can’t get decent recycling rates without moving to a fortnightly collection of residual waste.”

It highlights several councils with weekly collections – including Milton Keynes, – which all send 50 per cent or more of their household waste for reuse, recycling or composting. The recycling rate in Milton Keynes is currently 54per cent.

A recent YouGov poll showed residents perceived waste collection to be the most important service local authorities provide and homeowners “deserve a first class service in return for their council tax” said Mr Pickles.

Councillor David Hopkins, Milton Keynes Council’s portfolio holder for Waste and Environment said: “Milton Keynes Council remains committed to collecting all types of household waste and recycling every week. We will continue to deliver an excellent service to our residents and would like to thank them for their efforts in helping us achieve a recycling rate to be proud of.”

He praised the collection crews and staff at the council’s Materials Recycling Factory for coping so well with the large increase of waste over the Christmas period when black sack waste goes up by around 500 tonnes and recycling in pink sacks increases by around 250 tonnes.

Glass collections increase by 12per cent, while food and garden waste crews have the addition of real Christmas trees to add to their load.

Mr Hopkins added: “I’d like to express our thanks to the refuse collection crews and recycling factory staff working hard to process all the additional recycling and waste collected at this time of year.”

A Citizens’ Survey conducted in October among 1,300 residents showed 85per cent of residents are very or fairly satisfied with refuse collection making it the most popular local service delivered in Milton Keynes.