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Bumper recycling expected at Christmas

Milton Keynes City Council will be collecting blue and red bins the week after Christmas to help its residents with additional recycling generated during the festive season.

During w/c 25 December, food and garden waste collections will pause to give crews enough time to pick up the additional recycling. Recycling rates usually rise after Christmas when people have additional packaging, wrapping and bottles to dispose of, and the city council is expecting a bumper amount this year after introducing separate bins for paper and card and plastic, metal and glass in September. The rubbish and recycling collected during the festive period typically goes up by 30% compared to the waste created during the rest of the year.

Early figures show this change is helping local people to recycle more than they used to, which is better for the environment and means the city council can send almost nothing that MK throws away to landfill. The amount of recycling collected in the red and blue bins has in the first two months of the new service has gone up over 35% compared to the same period in 2022.

This is partly because of increased confidence in recycling locally, and partly because separating items into two bins or sacks means there’s less contamination, which is where card and paper gets wet or covered in food, which means it can’t be recycled.

Due to the bank holidays, collections between Monday 25 December and Friday 12 January will take place up to two working days later than usual, as pictured.

Real Christmas trees will be collected if they are no more than 15cm / 6in in diameter, fit neatly inside your green bin with decorations removed. Alternatively, trees can be taken to one of the city council’s recycling centres. You can book a slot and check the opening hours at:

Our crews work hard all year round, but Christmas and New Year is especially busy as they cope with the increased amount of rubbish and recycling. We’ve made this sensible change to the usual collection routine as we know that blue and red bins will be far fuller than usual, whereas food and garden collections are generally lighter in the winter as fewer people are mowing the lawn or doing other maintenance. A big thank you to everyone for helping get MK’s recycling rates higher, and please keep it up.”

- Cllr Lauren Townsend, cabinet member for the Public Realm


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