The Lakes Estate in Milton Keynes has been looking cleaner and tidier in recent months – this is because a great deal of effort has gone into improving cleanliness on the estate and supporting residents to recycle more since the summer of 2010.
The deep clean started with the council’s waste contractor Serco tackling some of the ‘grot’ that had built up on kerbs and edges of paths over the years. On four days every month, additional staff were brought in to thoroughly cleanse small areas of the estate, allowing the standard cleansing teams to continue as normal.
During this time there was a highly visible council presence – staff from Bletchley & Fenny Stratford Town Council and Milton Keynes Council talked to local residents about the services available to them, handing out leaflets reminding residents of the easy ways to recycle and how to deal with their ‘rubbish’. They were able to collect valuable information as to why many residents do not use particular waste services, such as the blue boxes for recycling glass bottles and jars. As a result of this a number of new ideas have been implemented to help residents deal with their waste more efficiently.
The first of these was a new bin for glass recycling placed by the shops in Serpentine Court. Six months on, the bin has been well received by residents and a total of 1447kg of glass has been collected. As a result of the success of this bin, we are now looking into placing smaller glass recycling bins in other parts of the estate.
Living in a flat can make it difficult to get rid of large bulky items so we’ve put in place an appointment system for residents in Serpentine Court flats to use to dispose of anything they would take with them if they were moving house. Residents call the Environmental Services Contact Centre on 01908 252570 and are told exactly when to put out their large unwanted items and many have taken advantage of the new service. Items removed have ranged from bed frames to baby bouncers, carpet rolls to sofas, as well as wardrobes and white goods. In fact more people used the Bulky Items service in the first two weeks of the appointments system than had used it in the previous six months. An additional advantage to this scheme is that there has been less fly-tipping locally!
The Neighbourhood Warden Maxine, and Sean, the Parish Ranger, have also spent a lot of time checking that recycling and rubbish is being put out on the correct day and time and answering any questions on recycling. Unfortunately some residents have had to be prosecuted because they have not followed advice and dumped rubbish around the estate, or continuously put out rubbish at the wrong time or in the wrong place.