Viridor And Milton Keynes Agree £1.75m Contamination Settlement

Viridor and Milton Keynes Council have agreed a £1.75m legal settlement following a row over the contamination of its recycling waste.

Milton Keynes Council and Viridor have agreed a £1.75m settlement to cover the historic costs of contamination in MK recycling sacks.

MK’s recycling is processed at the Council’s Materials Recovery Facility by contractor Viridor, and any materials that can be reused are recovered and sold.  

However, around one in four sacks in MK are contaminated by dirty nappies, pet waste and food so materials can’t be recovered, undermining recycling efforts.  This is higher than the tolerance for contamination built into the recycling contract.  

The settlement covers the cost of processing contaminated waste between 2013 and 2019.

“Viridor is pleased to have resolved this issue and looks forward to working with the council to reduce contamination and maximise efforts to boost recycling, putting valuable resources back into the UK economy.”

If contamination levels continue at their current levels, it will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds every year in penalty fees. 

Residents are asked to take more care about what they put in recycling sacks to avoid unnecessary future costs. 

A Viridor spokesperson confirmed that the company and Milton Keynes Council had agreed a £1.75m settlement to cover the “historic costs of contamination in MK recycling sacks.”

“Viridor is pleased to have resolved this issue and looks forward to working with the council to reduce contamination and maximise efforts to boost recycling, putting valuable resources back into the UK economy.”

The chair of Milton Keynes Council’s scrutiny management committee, Ric Brackenbury, said: “There’s a big job to do to make sure we keep recycling but only put the right items in our recycling sacks.”

The contract with Viridor runs until 2023. The council says residents can find out what can and can’t be recycled at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/waste-recycling


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