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Keeping our streets clean together - crews collect rubbish, mattresses, sofas and a table

Published: Friday, 1st December 2023

Birmingham City Council is working with the Guild of Students at the University of Birmingham to tackle waste behaviours.

In the first of a series of events planned between the council and the guild, a Love Your Streets event and Junkbusters events took place in Selly Oak, aimed at addressing waste behaviours – and council crews collected over 100 bags of rubbish along with dumped mattresses, sofas and a table.

The council’s ongoing ‘Love your Streets’ campaign aims to address a range of issues across the city, such as fly-tipping, fly-posting, waste impact awareness and education on the waste responsibilities of landlords. The Guild of Students’ Junkbusters campaign aims to encourage a more sustainable way of living by collecting unwanted items that are then used to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “We know clean streets is one of the top priorities for residents in Birmingham. The vast majority of students want to dispose of their waste responsibly, but it remains a concern for residents in areas near the city’s universities.

“As a council we are doing all we can to address this issue but there is a responsibility upon everyone – from long-standing residents to students to landlords – to play their part. So, it was really encouraging to see students working alongside council workers as part of Love Your Streets, keeping Selly Oak clean and tidy for the benefit of all who live and work there.”

A part of the day’s activities, the Guild of Students held one of its Junkbusters events, with stalls set up around the area for students to bring along items they no longer need.

Speaking on behalf of the Guild of Students, Dean Turner Welfare & Community Officer said: “This partnership with Birmingham City Council aims to build on the successes of our different schemes – ‘Junkbusters’ and ‘Love your Streets’ – and further promote sustainable practices across the city. We recognise the possibility of disruption when large numbers of students move houses. We are keen to educate everyone on how to manage waste, recycle or pass items forward to new owners.

“We take our responsibilities as members of the local community very seriously and encourage our neighbours to take a look at our website to find out more about our different initiatives, such as Junkbusters, Selly Express, Community Pantry and the work of our Community Wardens.

“Our wardens are student staff who visit over 2,000 properties in Bournbrook and Selly Oak each September and October providing all students in the local area with information about community building, managing waste, and our anti-social behaviour process. The wardens continue to support student and non-student residents for the rest of the year. The scheme, delivered in partnership with the University of Birmingham, also runs Junkbusters, a fantastic initiative that has already raised over £181,000 for the British Heart Foundation, finding new homes for household items students no longer need.”

The city council had three crews out and collected 101 sacks of dumped rubbish, 72 bags of litter, five mattresses, three trollies, two sofas and a table.

The guild engaged with a lot of students about Junkbusters and the support available during move in/out season in the summer as well as receiving five bags of donated goods and students staff collecting four bags of litter.

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