Supported by University of Bristol (UoB) and University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), team members from Bristol Waste spent an extra 640 hours during the end of year clear-up, tackling the increase in waste and items left behind by students moving out for the summer.
Councillor Steve Pearce, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Waste said: “We appreciate the move out can be a stressful time for students. It can also have an impact on neighbours and other communities, and it is important that we help reduce the impact on them too.
“As ever, we anticipated a rise in the amount of waste needing to be collected, and due to Covid-19, this needed to be carried out as quickly and safely as possible.
“The continued support and communication during these difficult times from both UoB and UWE Bristol has allowed us to remove large amounts of waste from hotspot student areas.
“This has led to a successful clear-out, making sure our streets are clean and welcoming for residents and visitors. Looking to the future, we will continue to work with the universities and our city’s students to ensure their waste is managed efficiently and sustainably.”
Within a two-week window at the end of June, Bristol Waste carried out additional bin collections in student areas following the end of the academic year, clearing an additional 53.23 tonnes of waste - the same weight as more than 30 cars.
Dan Kelly, Deputy Operations Director, Bristol Waste Company said: “Keeping the streets clean, clear and safe for everyone to enjoy has always been a priority for us, and the impact of a global pandemic made this more important than ever.
“We are proud that this project, which demonstrated a brilliant piece of team work with the universities, Bristol City Council and Bristol Waste meant we were able to act swiftly to keep the streets clear.
“We would also like to remind students to manage their waste responsibly, either by using the kerbside recycling and refuse collections, booking a bulky waste collection, or taking items to one of the two recycling centres in the city. Or if something is good quality, why not see if you can find it a new home at our reuse shop, via a charity, or online community groups. Fly-tipping is an offence and could lead to prosecution.”
As well as clearing up waste from residential areas, Bristol Waste team members made an additional 82 collections at university halls of residence across the city over the fortnight.
Rose Rooney, Sustainability Manager at UoB said: “Working together on projects like this has never been more important, especially in the context of the pandemic. We’ve been really impressed by the response of everyone involved.
“As a university, we’re passionate about managing our waste responsibly, recycling and reusing as much as possible – which is why we’re proud to have worked alongside the council and Bristol Waste on an end-of-term clear out for the last 10 years.”
Jennifer Fawcett-Thorne, Waste & Resources Manager at UWE Bristol said:
“In the absence of the usual Bristol Big Give running this year, we are pleased to have contributed to a successful joint operation to collect any additional waste material from our students moving out.
“The university takes its role within the wider community very seriously and we are proud to have been part of an initiative that has yielded such positive results.”
As well as working with Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England have run the Bristol Big Give for 10 years together with Bristol Waste, encouraging students to reuse and recycle where possible when moving out. Last year, the campaign raised £344,000 for the British Heart Foundation and local Bristol charities.
To find your nearest Household Waste and Recycling Centre, visit the council’s website.