Forget clear sacks for recycling - now the council is bringing in red and blue bags for some Milton Keynes households

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But the move will only apply to households who can’t fit four new wheelie bins

Council officials have responded to fears from some residents about not having space for four large wheelie bins when the city’s waste collection system is transformed in seven months time.

They have conceded that a “small number” of households, particularly those in terraced homes facing the street, will simply not have room for all the new bins.

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Now these people will be offered plastic sacks for their recycling as an alternative, it has been announced today (Wednesday).

There will be no more clear recycling sacks from September. But some people in MK will have red and blue ones instead.There will be no more clear recycling sacks from September. But some people in MK will have red and blue ones instead.
There will be no more clear recycling sacks from September. But some people in MK will have red and blue ones instead.

But they won’t be the usual clear sacks. Instead, there will be red-coloured sacks for paper and card and blue sacks for plastic, cans and glass bottles.

The current blue boxes for glass will be scrapped.

Also, there will be “assisted collection” offered to people who would struggle to move the heavy bins to the street.

The move follows complaints from householders in older traditional towns and also a petition last month from people in Wolverton.

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MK City Council leader Pete Marland shows how many wheelie bins most households will haveMK City Council leader Pete Marland shows how many wheelie bins most households will have
MK City Council leader Pete Marland shows how many wheelie bins most households will have

The petition urged the council to rethink its plan to provide four wheelie bins for every home from September – a total of 300,000 wheelie bins.

There will be a green-lidded bin for food and garden waste, a blue-lidded one for plastic, metals and glass, a red-lidded one for paper and card, and a bin with a grey lid for residual waste.

A new contractor called SUEZ will take over the contract from Serco and collect all the bins.

Today the council announced a change in the plan.

A spokesman said: “The vast majority of MK households will move to wheelie bins in September, following consultation and a pilot involving thousands of residents. This should lead to less street litter, higher recycling rates, and will be better for the environment, saving on the production of 11 million plastic sacks each year. ”

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They added: “However, as a small number of homes aren’t suitable for wheelie bins, the City Council has been testing alternatives – with residents putting paper and card into a red sack, and plastic, cans and bottles into a blue sack.”

Since 2020, residents in New Bradwell have been trialling plastic boxes as an alternative to wheelie bins. This has led to complaints about pavements so littered with boxes that people cannot get past.

From February 20, the trail will change and the red and blue plastic sacks will be introduced.

In addition, some residents in Netherfield who have not yet been part of a waste collection pilot will also be testing the red and blue sacks.

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By September, other homes without space for the bins will have been identified.

Households will receive the new sacks during the week beginning February 13, along with an information leaflet.

For more information visit here.

Interim Cabinet member for the Public Realm, Cllr Paul Trendall, said the feedback from people taking part in the trail had been “incredibly helpful”.

"Over the spring we’ll be explaining to local people what’s coming and when. We’ll also be offering assisted collections to residents who might not be able to move a bin themselves. “Modernising how we collect waste and recycling – while not forgetting that one system won’t be right for everyone - will help the city be even cleaner, greener, and safer.”