Following the last weekend of June, which is when the majority of student housing contracts end, the Daily Echo reports that the ‘streets were strewn with over flowing wheely bins, bulging bin backs and piles of waste.’
Many residents of Southampton blame the approximate 30,000 students for the mess, with one resident telling the Daily Echo that:
… when students move out, they leave out broken doors, wardrobes and chair legs, but this never happens with families. As some of us are good recyclers, we can be resentful because we can see all of this going to landfill…
Meanwhile, a further resident told the Echo that:
I’m embarrassed when visitors say to me how dirty and scruffy the city is.
However, there have also been reports of bin-divers rummaging through the rubbish as soon as the students have gone, which suggests that students aren’t entirely to blame for the level of mess left behind.
Stephen Gore, former VP Sports and interim Union President, took a different approach to local residents and suggested in a Facebook comment that the council are the ones truly at fault for the rubbish left behind:
The council knows this happens EVERY year. The students’ union has asked them to put on extra bin collections and they say that they have but this remains to be seen.
Defending the students, Gore also notes that:
It’s not an excuse, but many students don’t have cars or the means to dispose of all these items, which is made worse by money grabbing letting agents/landlords fining students for anything left in the house.
This situation comes after SUSU have emphasised recycling and sustainability this year during the moving-out period with campaigns such as Pack for Good.