Debate continues over council's sky-high prices for bulky waste removal in Milton Keynes

The issue of a woman quoted a small fortune for the council to remove two old fence panels has prompted a flood of similar stories from readers.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The woman contacted MK Council’s Bulky Waste Collection service, which is run separately from the general bin collections carried out by contractors Serco.

She wanted to know the price of collecting two old dismantled fence panels she had removed from her Bletchley garden. But she couldn’t believe her eyes when she was told the cost – a staggering £140.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Citizen reported her story earlier this week and readers were quick to send in their own bulky waste horror stories.

MK Council quoted £140 to dispose of two fence panelsMK Council quoted £140 to dispose of two fence panels
MK Council quoted £140 to dispose of two fence panels

One woman describes how MK Council quoted her a massive £280 to dispose of one wooden bedframe.

"I thought I was being helpful by dismantling it - but they calculated the charge per item,” she said. “Each leg and slats and the head board and foot board and side were then classed as an item. So in in total there were 18 items to dispose of...”

Another faced a similar dilemma with a single fence panel. “I was quoted £120 by the council last year to take one 3ft tall fence panel, but also told I would need to cut it in half as it was too long - and the quote would then be higher as it would then be two pieces of fencing.” she said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I ended up paying a licensed waste carrier to take it away, in one piece, for a fraction of the cost. I would never condone fly tipping, but I can see why people chance it. Who can afford these prices?”

The irony was that the woman lives a 10 minute walk from the tip and could have carried the panel. But the tip does not allow pedestrian access.

A third reader was flushed with frustration when she tried to get the council to dispose of an old toilet.

"They wanted to charge me £120 to take away an old loo, they said it was classed as fixtures and fittings. When I told them it wasn’t fixed or fitted it was out on my front patio, they still wanted £120. It’s a major rip off.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, a few readers thought the council was correct to charge high prices. “The council are already over stretched and have far more important things to do than collect single items of waste from houses. The price is high to encourage you to dispose of it yourself or use a private company.,” said one man.

A spokesman for MK Council has this week qualified the now famous £140 fence panels quote.

She told the Citizen: “We class fence panels as non-household items (things you leave behind when you move) and there’s a higher cost to us for dealing with them, which we pass on. The £140 factors in this additional disposal charge.

"By contrast, if a resident was asking us to collect a TV and a washing machine, the charge would be just £20.”