Partnership approach to reduce and remove excess waste

Student residential areas targeted at end of term

RecyclingSouthampton City Council’s waste collection service has been praised for its work to reduce and remove excess waste left outside student houses vacated at the end of term.

Local resident associations, as well as key staff from the University of Southampton and Solent University were joined by senior figures at Southampton City Council to highlight the outstanding effort put in by City Services staff in this year’s clear up operation.

Both of the universities in the city part-funded four additional collection crews over the space of a fortnight, targeting the primary student residential areas. This has helped support the council with clearing up the additional waste that is generated when the university students living in shared households move out of their accommodation.

The council and both universities targeted students on social media to try and drive behaviour change, asking them to recycle, re-use or donate items wherever possible and to dispose of unwanted goods in a way that is considerate of neighbours and the environment. The council’s Compliance Officers and HMO Licensing officers also engaged directly with landlords, asking them to encourage student tenants to remove items from their households in a proper manner. Officers reminded them that there are fixed penalty notice charges for any items left in the street or found illegally dumped.

Hilary Jackson, Secretary of the Outer Avenue Residents’ Association said: “This year we’ve benefitted from a joined-up-thinking group of key council staff, university reps from both the students' unions and the establishments, residents’ associations and the Police, who have met several times to try and get this right.

“There seemed to be a reduction in the volume of waste being left outside properties and the clean-up operation had the additional rubbish removed much more quickly than in previous years.”

Jon Walsh, Public Affairs Manager at the University of Southampton said: “Throughout the year, the University of Southampton and Students’ Union openly encourage students to recycle and donate unwanted items.

“Over recent weeks as we have approached the end of term the Students’ Union has proactively encouraged students to give everything from clothing, shoes and accessories to electrical items, crockery and homeware to the British Heart Foundation’s Pack for Good scheme.

“Collection points have also been set up in halls of residence for unwanted items through the Recycling on your Doorstep scheme.”

Bryan Carroll, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities at Solent University, commented: “We’re working hard with students each year to get them to act in a responsible and conscientious manner when it comes to disposing of unwanted items at the end of their tenures. We’re more than happy to help the council to fund additional collections to help tidy up.”

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Place and Transport at Southampton City Council, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the partner organisations and especially the collection crews for going above and beyond with all their hard work.

“There’s been a real partnership approach to dealing with the issue this year. We’d like to prevent the problem from happening rather than undertake enforcement action; however this is an option that is open to us for those who repeatedly fail to dispose of the rubbish properly.”