Donate, Don't Waste

Donate, Don't Waste is a scheme designed to help students donate reuseable items, recycle waste and minimise their impact on the environment and local community when they move out of their student accommodation.

Logo for the Donate, Don't Waste project

End of term

Every summer, almost 40,000 students move house in Sheffield. This can be from university residences into private rented accommodation, or from one private rented house to another.

Inevitably, this can lead to a lot of waste, as students pack their possessions and clean their accommodation. 

Donate, Don't Waste is a scheme run by the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield City Council and charity partners to help make it as easy as possible for students to donate reuseable items and dispose of waste responsibly.

Key stats

Since starting in 2013, the Donate, Don't Waste scheme has helped students in Sheffield to divert 66,000 bags of useable items from landfill by donating them to the British Heart Foundation.

This is equivalent to:

  • £925,000-worth of donations
  • 469 tonnes of items
  • 4,776,677kg CO2 equivalent (compared to being sent to landfill)

Over 9.4t of food has been donated by students to S6 Foodbank since 2015, equating to 17,465 meals.

Move-out checklist

Follow the below steps to help you minimise your environmental impact when moving accommodation.

1. Ensure your bins get emptied

Check you know which bins go out when in the weeks running up to your move out date. Make sure you get them emptied on schedule so you have plenty of bin space for your move out.

Check your bin schedule
Your bins should be put out the night before collection and returned to your property each morning. Only put the correct items in each bin to ensure it is emptied and to prevent recyclable material from being contaminated by other waste, which can result in the entire load being sent for incineration.

In Sheffield, each house should have three types of bins:

  • blue bin (for paper and card)
  • brown bin (for glass, tins and plastic bottles only)
  • black bin (for general rubbish)

The black bin is collected every two weeks and the blue or brown bin collected four-weekly on an alternating basis. If you don't have the correct bins, or they are damaged, contact your landlord.

Only put the indicated items in each bin. Your bins might not be collected if they have incorrect items in them.

2. Donate unwanted items

Moving house is an opportunity for many of us to sort our possessions and get rid of anything we're no longer using. But this can mean many useable items being thrown out, when they could be donated to benefit charities and reduce their environment impact.

Donate, Don't Waste works with the British Heart Foundation to place on-street donation points in areas with high numbers of students. These are installed in May and remain in place all summer. They accept clothes, shoes, books, bric-a-brac etc. Please don't put duvets or knives in these donation banks.

Don't leave donations on the ground around these donations points, as they can be damaged by wet weather or strewn about by passersby, causing litter. The banks are emptied regularly, but if you find it full please take your items to another bank, charity shop or return at another time. 

There are also many charity shops around Sheffield who would welcome your donations.

View map of donation locations

3. Donate unwanted food

Help to ensure your unwanted food is not wasted when you move you. The University of Sheffield collects unopened, non-perishable food for S6 Foodbank at the Students' Union and Residences. You can also find food donation points at most supermarkets.

Endcliffe and Ranmoor student villages are also home to community fridges, where you can donate unwanted food for other students to use.

4. Recycle!

Please recycle as much of your waste as possible. You can recycle paper, card, glass, tin cans and plastic bottles through your kerbside recycling collections. The Students' Union also has a recycling point for hard-to-recycle items such as batteries, printer cartridges and even bras!

Many supermarkets also have collection points for soft plastic and other hard-to-recycle items.

5. Council excess waste collections

Your last resort for anything you can't reuse, donate or recycle, or that won’t fit in your black bin, is Sheffield City Council's excess waste collection service. From 24 June - 9 July the Council runs an additional service in areas with a high student population to collect any additional waste you have. 

If your street is highlighted on the below map you should securely tie your waste in sacks and leave them outside your property and it will be collected within three days. If you are not on a highlighted route, please put your bags out on your normal (black) bin day.

The contents of these sacks are not sorted and will be sent directly to an Energy Recovery Facility where they are burnt and turned into electricity and heat, so only use these as a last resort! Don’t use them for food waste, as this could attract vermin and cause bad smells for your neighbours - ensure this type of waste is either donated to our food bank or put in your wheelie bin. Do not place bagged waste out other than during the above collection period, doing so could be considered fly tipping for which fixed penalty notices could be issued to those responsible.

Check the collection service routes

Keeping our communities clean and tidy

Unfortunately, the waste produced when students moving out of and into their accommodation can have a negative impact on our local communities and environment. Litter and waste is not only unpleasant for other residents to look at and be around, it can attract vermin and find its way into our waterways, causing pollution.

Please ensure that you do everything you can to keep your property and street clean and tidy at this time. Waste left on the street might be treated as flytipping and, if linked to an individual, fines can be issued by Sheffield City Council.

Report an issue

If you spot any issues relating to waste and student properties, this can be reported to Sheffield City Council. Please remember that bags tied neatly outside a property may be awaiting collecting and this will be carried out within three days.

Report a waste issue

Get involved

Litterpicking is a great way of helping to give something back to our local communities and protect the environment. The University of Sheffield has litterpicking equipment available to borrow if you would like to arrange a litterpick in your area, or alternatively there are several active community litterpick groups in the city.

Request to borrow litterpicking equipment

Find a local litterpicking group

Our sustainability strategy

We have set the principles and direction for our sustainability strategy