A draft technical report into how recycling sacks from Milton Keynes were found in a Malaysian jungle suggests the council’s own systems may not be to blame, according to a Cabinet member.
Milton Keynes Council called for an independent review of its recycling systems after it was told waste collected by the council had been discovered in a jungle in Malaysia.
At the time, the council said it was “appalled” after being informed by the BBC that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War on Plastics documentary had discovered the council’s waste in the jungle over 6,000 miles away.
Although the full report has yet been published, the draft report into the incident was seen by Cllr Emily Darlington (Lab, Bletchley East), the council’s Cabinet member for public realm, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
It confirms what our officers thought, that the recycling sacks could not have come from the council’s system
Cllr Darlington said: “I am impressed by the level of technical detail in the review. It confirms what our officers thought, that the recycling sacks could not have come from the council’s system.”
She said it looked deep into the council’s supply chain and into how the Environment Agency enforces its rules.
At the time of the documentary the council said the most likely cause of the recycling sacks found in Malaysia is “misuse”.
It said in a statement: “Until recently, we issued millions of recycling sacks a year, but far fewer ended up being used for household recycling. It’s one of the reasons we introduced an online ordering system last year.”
Cllr Darlington said the full report, to be published later this year, could also make recommendations about any ways that council systems could be improved.
The council will issue new waste contracts from 2023 and Cllr Darlington said information from the review could be used to inform that process.