Call to review Sheffield student waste collection

A councillor has called for a review of Sheffield's student end-of-year waste collection.

Sheffield city councillor Adam Hanrahan is calling for a review of the red sack rubbish collection scheme.
Sheffield city councillor Adam Hanrahan is calling for a review of the red sack rubbish collection scheme.

Coun Adam Hanrahan, a University of Sheffield student himself, wants the authority to look at the red sack scheme, designed to help students when they move out at the end of an academic year.

The council provides extra bin bags so students can get rid of extra waste. But Coun Hanrahan believes collections in his Crookes and Crosspool ward are being missed. This means the red sacks are left on the pavement for longer and can be damaged.

“I don’t think it’s fair on permanent residents to have bags split open just because they have not been collected on time,” he said.

“The bags are pretty strong but they do split. You end up with a lot of rubbish on the floor.

“The bottom of Spring Hill was particularly bad the other day. And if stuff has come out of the bags then it’s not taken away.”

If collections are missed, the problem then gets passed over.

“One of the real issues I have found is that when you leave your house you fill up the black bin and then use the red bags,” said Coun Hanrahan.

“I moved into my new hous on July 31 and the black bin was full up. I’ve got nowhere to put my black bin rubbish.”

Another problem is an apparent lack of information for students.

“There are people that don’t know about it, so they panic. Last year my neighbours were running around saying ‘what do we do with our rubbish?’.”

Coun Hanrahan plans to join forces with fellow Liberal Democract member Paul Scriven, who has seen similar problems in his Ecclesall ward, and push for a review of the scheme.

“The council doesn’t see that when four students live in a house it’s not like a family unit. People by their own milk and bread and so on, and it creates more rubbish.”

The council’s cabinet member for environment Bryan Lodge said: “With over 30,000 students leaving private accommodation at the end of each academic year, managing the waste left behind can be challenging. We work in partnership with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University and their student unions to deal with student waste as effectively as possible.

“Our red sack scheme collects every day for two weeks, alternating so that each street is collected every other day. This year we also had over 40 donation points in partnership with British Heart Foundation, where students can drop off food, kitchen ware and textiles to minimise the waste left in red sacks.

“All students receive email communication explaining how they can dispose of their waste and information is highlighted through their student unions. Sacks and information leaflets are distributed from our waste management service to landlords who then pass them on to students.

“We acknowledge that the scheme is not perfect but we work hard each year to remove the waste and review the scheme to see where improvements can be made. The increase in donation points was one of the improvements that came out of the last review and has made a difference to the levels of waste we have seen this year. We welcome suggestions on how further improvements could be made, within our budget restrictions.”