Frequently asked questions


Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park is a new facility, currently being built, which will treat your black sack waste. It’s an exciting project and we’re sure you have lots of questions about it. We hope to answer them here but – if you cannot find what you need – drop us a link at

What is Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park?

Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park is a new state-of-the-art facility to deal with local waste left over by households - as well as businesses, shops and restaurants - after they have done their recycling. Currently this “black sack” waste goes to landfill.

The new facility will bring together three separate waste treatment technologies, to ensure Milton Keynes Council is able to make the most of local rubbish.

You can read more about the different technologies and how they will deal with black sack waste on our Technology Overview page.

Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park will also include a visitor centre for use by local schools and community groups.

The facility has been designed and is being built by Amey on behalf of Milton Keynes Council. Amey will also operate the facility once it opens in 2017.

Why do we need it?

Milton Keynes Council has thought ahead and considered how it can reduce landfill, do something useful with local rubbish and generate savings in its waste management costs, which in turn benefits local residents and taxpayers.

By 2016, 60,000 tonnes of black sack waste is expected to be produced by households in Milton Keynes each year. With population growth, the annual figure is due to rise to 80,000 by 2040.

This volume of residual waste equates to filling Middleton Hall at thecentre:mk 10 times per year.

On top of this, around the same volume of waste is produced by businesses, shops and restaurants in the Milton Keynes area each year.

Instead of landfilling this waste, we can do more to extract recyclable materials still left in the black sacks and create energy from the waste. This helps deliver financial and environmental benefits to the local area.

Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park will cut Milton Keynes Council’s waste management bills, as well as reduce landfill to around 3%.

Why can’t we continue landfilling?

Landfill is becoming expensive and the EU and UK government have set targets to reduce landfill, with financial penalties for local authorities failing to meet landfill diversion and recycling targets.

In addition, the EU 2020 Energy Directive has set targets for the UK for energy coming from renewable sources – this must increase from 1.5% in 2006 to 15% by 2020.

Milton Keynes Council expects to prevent more than £50million of additional cost over the design life of the facility.

From an environmental perspective, landfill is also not a sustainable option for the disposal of waste. Landfill generates methane - one of the most potent greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Methane is more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide, with landfill generating up to 40% of the UK’s methane emissions.

By diverting waste from landfill, we will prevent around 27.6 million cubic metres of landfill gas being emitted each year.

Landfill space across the UK is running out and therefore it is not a long-term solution for waste treatment.

Why is it important to reduce, reuse and recycle?

Across the country people are being encouraged to cut the amount of rubbish they generate – by reducing, reusing and recycling. For example, you can reduce the amount of food waste by using leftovers to create new meals or you can reuse your carrier bags. You can also recycle lots of everyday products.

The proposed new Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park will be able to recycle even more products from everyday household waste, as well as putting what’s left over to good use. In addition, local residents will be able to find out more about how they can cut their waste at a visitor centre on the site.

Where will the waste come from?

Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park will handle “untreated” waste from households and businesses, shops and restaurants. This is the type of rubbish still left over after residents have done their recycling – it’s the rubbish you put in your black sacks.

It is expected half of the waste entering the site will be from local households, while the rest will be commercial (business) waste. This material is currently taken to a landfill site at Bletchley.

How much waste will Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park process and how much energy will it create?

The site has been designed based on current and projected waste volumes in Milton Keynes from households, businesses, shops and restaurants. We have also taken into account the projected growth of the city over the coming years.

The mechanical treatment technology will be able to handle between 120,000 and 132,000 tonnes of waste per year.

The anaerobic digestion technology will have a capacity of 32,000 tonnes per year, while the advanced thermal treatment capacity is 93,600 tonnes per year.

The facility will be able to generate around 55,000 MWh per year which is enough energy to power the equivalent of around 11,000 homes - similar to the number of households in Wolverton and Newport Pagnell combined.

Where is Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park?

The facility is being built on Dickens Road, Old Wolverton. It is within an existing industrial area, which includes other waste facilities, and the site was previously used as a distribution centre.

It is also close to Milton Keynes’ Materials Recycling Facility, which treats the recyclable items collected from homes and is based on Colts Holm Road, and near to a vehicle storage depot for refuse collection vehicles. This means Milton Keynes Council can make cost and carbon footprint savings from vehicle mileage.

What’s are the timescales for opening the facility?

Planning permission and an Environmental Permit for the facility were granted in 2013.
Construction of the main buildings is now complete and we're busy installing and commissioning the technologies to be used on site. After commissioning phases, we expect it to be fully operational in 2017.

What are the benefits of the news facility?

The facility will deliver cost savings for Milton Keynes Council and local taxpayers, as well as giving the authority certainty over its future waste management bills.

Milton Keynes Council expects to prevent in the region of £50million of additional cost over the design life of the facility.

From an environmental perspective, it will reduce landfill to around 3%. Its proximity to a refuse collection vehicle depot will also assist in managing transport and associated carbon impacts.

Innovative and state-of-the-art technologies will be used in the new facility, which will create local jobs in both construction and operational phases. The facility will also include a dedicated visitor centre for use by local schools and the wider community.

When will the visitor centre open and how do I book a school visit?

The visitor centre will open once the facility is fully operational. Keep an eye on our community pages here for more information.

Will this impact collections or kerbside recycling?

No. Weekly collections of general waste and recycling – the items you put in your pink sacks, green bins and blue boxes - will continue as normal.

Items from your pink sacks will continue to be sorted at the existing Materials Recycling Facility in Old Wolverton, operated by Viridor on behalf of Milton Keynes Council.

Black sack household waste, along with some business waste, will be treated at the new facility instead of going to landfill.

What will it look like?

The new facility will be a similar size to the previous distribution centre on the site, which was demolished in the summer of 2014.

It will be fully enclosed, with the treatment technologies and the drop off area for waste being under cover.

The advanced thermal treatment hall will be approximately 20 metres high, around 5m taller than the previous building.

The facility will require one chimney and this is 55metres high – similar to the chimney on a neighbouring building. In comparison, Hanslope Church spire is 55m and the Milton Keynes Xscape building is 43m.

What if I have a question?

If you have any questions, please contact us – we’d be pleased to hear from you. You can:

Email us at
Call us on 0845 365 6452
Write to us at Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park, 9 Dickens Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5QF.

Tell me about Amey

Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.
Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including waste treatment, environmental services, utilities, highways, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.

Amey is owned by Ferrovial, one of the world’s leading infrastructure management and investment companies. Ferrovial employs approximately 65,000 employees worldwide and operates in over 25 countries. Ferrovial’s activities focus on four business sectors construction, airports, toll roads and services.

Some of your newsletters mention AmeyCespa. Is this a different organisation?

It's the same organisation - we simply rebranded in June 2015 to bring our name into line with the rest of the Amey business.

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