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Unwanted goods from University of Chester students recycled and reused for charity

Cheshire West and Chester Council running its popular Want Not Waste Not initiative

Cllr Bob Rudd helping with Want Not Waste Not bags

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Want Not Waste Not recycling collections have proved to be popular with university students and residents in the Garden Quarter of Chester.

The new initiative has seen the council’s waste management service collect unwanted good quality materials for local charity reuse, which would usually have been thrown away by students leaving university for the summer.

The Garden Quarter is close to the university and has historically been the main area for private sector rental housing for students. The nature of the housing in this area presents significant barriers to recycling which can result in poor local environmental quality and customer complaints to the waste management service.

Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet member for environment, said: “The student area traditionally gets bad press when the students move into the area in September as in the past, waste issues have significantly increased. This problem is impacted when students move out for the summer.

“Although there is already comprehensive recycling engagement and enforcement we felt that students should be given every opportunity possible to dispose of their unwanted items. The new blue hessian bags provided encourage the recycling of clothing, books, utensils, small electricals, pots and pans, cutlery and crockery, bedding and unopened in-date food.”

While students are the main audience for this project, residents have also embraced and contributed to this successful initiative.

Ward member Cllr Bob Rudd also welcomed this new initiative having spent previous years with the challenge of removing excess waste from the area.

Rather than ending up in landfill, Cllr Rudd has seen local charities Richmond House, The Bren Project, Save the Family and West Cheshire Foodbank being involved and being pleased with the quality of materials donated.

A lot of the extra waste consists of cardboard, furniture, textiles, food, excess glass and cans, kitchen utensils, books, toiletries and bedding.

Josie McLachlan from Save the Family said: “Save the Family is extremely grateful to Cheshire West and Chester Council for spearheading this initiative with students from the University of Chester.

“Save the Family provides support and accommodation to homeless and troubled families at its centre outside Chester and also to families in the community who are struggling because of social and economic poverty.

“The items that have been donated have been warmly received by the charity and are now being distributed to families arriving at our centre who have very little or have lost possessions due to traumatic circumstances.

“Our outreach mentors will also be distributing items to families in the locality over the summer and everything that has been so generously donated will make an enormous difference to those in crisis. We would like to say a massive thank you to all those involved in this project.”

To find out more about the initiative and the charities involved please visit RecycleFirst.info

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