Southampton City Council are currently in consultation for a policy to moving housing bin collection to every alternative week, meaning that student houses could only see their bins collected once every two weeks.
The plan would mean that in one week, your waste bins would be collected and, in another week, your recyclables bin would be collected.
The decision comes as part of the cost-cutting measures for Southampton City Council’s budget planning, with the requirement to cut £42.3 million by 2020-21, due largely to the reduction of funds from central government by 55%.
This is very likely to affect students in Southampton, with a large number living in Houses with Multiple Occupations (HMOs) and therefore producing a greater amount of waste on average.
A Southampton City Council paper from 2015-16 on HMOs (houses with three or more tenants and shared kitchen, toilet or bathroom facilities) found that there were 7000 HMOs in Southampton. The report also noted that:
“Many of the HMOs within the city are occupied by students”
Of the HMOs in Southampton, Bassett, Swaythling and Portswood, which are heavily populated student areas, had the second highest number of HMOs contributing to 25.7% of the total, only behind Bevois, Bargate and Freemantle contributing 58.6% of the total.
Later in the report, Southampton City Council also found that HMOs in Southampton could be matched to Student Scene and Learners & Earners, the two most common mosaic types, contributing to 52% and 37% of the HMO households respectively.
Student Scene is a categorisation consisting exclusively of full-time students, while Learners & Earners is a mixture of students, recent graduates and older people.
It is, therefore, possible that the alternative week collection for dustbins may have a disproportionately negative impact on students as a result of these factors.
Southampton City Council currently have the policy in consultation, and you can make your thoughts known here.