Sustainability Action Blog


Shift Your Stuff!

By Julia Kendal |

Shift Your Stuff logo

Guest blog by Lydia Butler, SUSU Ethical and Environmental Officer

There is a visible cloud of stress over most University of Southampton students as final exams approach, however in a flash; another academic year will be over. In just a few weeks the stress will be over and will turn into sounds of celebration along all the streets. It may be all fun and games for the students as summer arrives and students begin to move out of rented accommodation it steadily becomes one of the most difficult times of year for the rest of Southampton. For the whole of June, the streets are full of huge amounts of rubbish that students begin throwing away before moving out.

“We only cleared out the house the day before we had to move out. We just forgot we had so much stuff!”

“My housemate was moving back to China and had to get rid of all their stuff“

“I was turned away from two Portswood high-street charity shops because they were too full!”

It’s not entirely student’s fault. Their lack of understanding about waste collections, inability to travel to the household waste recycling centre or lack of forward planning means that in the rush to throw everything away they forget to put it in bags or overfill bins so the bin collection men refuse to empty the bin because of the bad state it’s in. Then the problem just gets worse. It is simply, a difficult time for everyone.

So this year SUSU’s Sustainability Zone has decided to lend a helping hand to everyone involved! We are collaborating with 15 different community stakeholders to bring you the ShiftYourStuff project.

It’s going to be as simple as possible for everyone involved so we can make sure the streets of Southampton stay clean this year. So what do you have to do?

STEP 1: Collect a red bag (or two) from SUSU reception at any time from now onwards and start to fill it with any items that you don’t want anymore. Look below to see what you can put in the bag. The only thing we can’t take is sharp knives or liquids and non-perishable food.

Shift Your Stuff Instructions

STEP 2: Either drop off your bag at SUSU Reception, Erasmus Park Common Room or Mayflower Common Room OR wait until the 11th and the 30th of June and vans will come along to your doorstep and collect your bags! This will be in the Portswood and Highfield areas on both of these days, and all you need to do is leave your bags outside before 11am (no excuses if you went out the night before).

On the 30th of June volunteers will sort out all your “stuff” from the red bags which will then be given to lots of local charities, homeless shelters and some of the cutlery will even be given away to new students in freshers’ week.

If you’re still confused or no one bought your furniture items on free and for sale just email and arrange a further pick-up of your items.