At the end of the academic year at the University of Sheffield, most students move out of their accommodation and end up leaving things behind. Sheffield City Council provides students with a “red sack” service to cope with the extra waste.
This June at the end of term, my partner and I went for a bit of a womble along my road to see what we could pick up. Amongst the bags we found: crockery, cutlery (including kitchen knives), cookware (frying pans, saucepans, woks, baking sheets/tins), kitchen appliances (including George Foreman grills, sandwich makers, toasters and kettles), televisions, DVD players, Freeview boxes, satellite decoders, speakers, games console accessories, lamps, clothes, fancy dress outfits and bedding. Hundreds of pounds' worth of stuff, going straight to landfill.
I picked up a few odds and ends for myself and friends (including my now-favourite red dress), but there was no way I could save everything that I found. Being a "don't mourn, organise" sort of person, at the start of this year I sent out some feelers to the students' union officers about setting up a recycling scheme, and boy did I get a response!