2012 Student Re-use Project

The Free Stuff event was held during Fresher's week in September 2012. 

Student Re-Use Project diverts 4.8 tonnes of waste from landfill and raises £3000 for Hospiscare

This year the project ran in partnership with local charity Hospiscare and saw hundreds of students benefit from the unwanted waste of others.  In university halls of residence, a waste peak occurs at the end-of-term when departing students dispose of their unwanted items. The Student Re-Use Project aims to divert this waste from being sent to landfill by collecting the reusable items. 

The items, which range from stationery and kitchen utensils to clothing and bedding, are sorted by a network of student volunteers and University staff with support from the Students’ Guild. Since this project began in 2008 over 15 tonnes of reusable items have been diverted from landfill in this way. 

This year the Student Re-Use project collected 4.8 tonnes of donations from across campus during the summer collection period, donations were also received from Devon County Council. 3.2 tonnes was donated to local charity Hospiscare, who were subsequently able to raise £3000 from the sale of the items through their shops. The remaining 1.6 tonnes of donations were redistributed to students at a Free Stuff event which was held during Fresher’s week.  The annual event allows new and returning students to pick up free items which they may need for their accommodation or studies.

Lucy Kimberley, Sustainability Projects Officer said: “This scheme really benefits all involved, not only do we get to cut our waste but the scheme also supports new students and the local community. The project is a university wide effort with the Students’ Guild, staff from Sustainability, Residences, the Freshers' welcome week team and Residence Life team all contributing to its success.”

Karen Gallagher Sustainability Manager added: “Each year we are looking to reduce our waste by 1% with an additional aim of recycling 45% of our waste by 2015.  The Student Re-use project is not only a fantastic away of working towards achieving these goals, but it also helps to raise awareness amongst our students.  It is always great at the free stuff event to see a room full of unwanted items suddenly completely cleared by a group of new students suddenly finding a whole new use for the items.”

This year the project will hold a small Free Stuff event in the Re-Freshers Fair in February 2013, consisting of folders and stationery.

The annual collections of donations from halls of residences will recommence in the summer term to coincide with students moving out.

If you would like to find out more about the project visit the sustainability web pages, or if you would like to be a project volunteer please email the sustainability team.

Date: 29 October 2012

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