Are 'stingy' new limits on recycling sacks backfiring on Milton Keynes Council?

Hundreds of environment-conscious residents are taking to social media to complain about the council’s “stingy” new policy on supplying recycling sacks.

Months after the new 180 a year limit on the number of clear sacks was imposed, more and more people are finding their supply is running dry.

Recycling sacks

Recycling sacks

Some are so fed up that they are tossing all their recyclables into black bin bags instead.

They have to go onto MK Council’s website to order extra - but these top-up rolls only contain 20 sacks.

“Half the time they don’t get delivered, or are stolen from the doorstep because suddenly recycling sacks have become like gold dust in MK. Even if you get them, the roll only lasts a few weeks,” said one resident.

“More chaos has been caused by the new rule vetoing the collection of loose cardboard. We’re expected to cram it into recycling sacks - which uses them up even faster,” he added.

Supplies of the previous pink recycling sacks could be picked up from shops and outlets all over MK.

But new rolls of clear sacks can only be ordered online at six weekly intervals.

And once the 180 annual limit has been reached, residents could be charged - unless they make a special request and explain their extra usage.

Some people now confess to putting their recycling into black sacks because they can’t be bothered with the hassle.

“It’s certainly not encouraging us to recycle,” said one.

Others defend the system, saying people should take large recyclable items and cardboard to the local tip themselves.

Milton Keynes Council says the average household in MK uses 120 sacks a year - 2.3 a week.

A spokesman said: “Please ensure you squash down your recycling, particularly cardboard and plastic bottles so that you can fit more into each sack.

“If you need more than 180 sacks because you have a large family or you’re a keen recycler then you can contact us and we’ll assess your situation and provide more sacks as necessary.”

Council leader Pete Marland said: “People who misuse sacks, or want sacks for other purposes, will be given the option to purchase them.”

He added: “ The change is to primarily to cut down on misuse, particularly from businesses and people from outside MK. Hopefully the vast majority of MK residents will only see an improved service.”