Water bottles donated to homeless support group

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the unclaimed lost property from across the University? The Sustainability Circular Economy Team were able to find a solution for the reusable water bottles which get left and forgotten in the Sports Centres, libraries and lecture theatres.

We worked with Feed the Homeless and Roots Independent Street Team to re-home over 400 reusable water bottles. The city centre community outreach team meet every Thursday to set up a distribution point on College Green for rough sleepers. This initiative is not just about providing food and clothes, it offers support in the form of consistency, reliability, conversation, and kindness to a vulnerable and often overlooked group in our community.

Hannah Rossiter, who leads the group, says “We are always looking for donations of bottled water as it’s vital for our service users to have access to clean water for health and hygiene. These water bottles will help a lot as they will be able to keep and refill them.”

This is an example of circular economy in action: the problem - lots of surplus bottles; the solution - donating to a homeless support charity. The lost water bottles are a low value item, which go unclaimed as it’s often considered easier to buy another rather than go out of one’s way to reclaim from lost property. The bottles are given a new value by the recipients who will keep and reuse them again and again using water fountains, cafes and restaurants as part of the Refill initiative. The future of sustainability includes a human element of practical support to communities to create balance in a number of systems, including unequal access to food, shelter, basic sanitation, healthcare, jobs, energy and clean water.

Pictured above: Hannah Rossiter of Roots Independent Street Team and Alice Maxwell-Lyte, Environmental Supervisor.

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