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‘Bristol Big Give’ scheme saves record haul in unwanted items

Press release issued: 29 November 2018

Students involved in this year’s city-wide recycling scheme ‘Bristol Big Give’ have helped to save a record-breaking 205 tonnes of unwanted items from landfill waste, going instead towards raising vital funds for charity.

This year’s donations could raise up to £358,960 for the life-saving work done by the British Heart Foundation and other local charities.

University of Bristol students alongside volunteers from the University of the West of England have helped to collect, sort and distribute donations, from kitchenware, bedding and clothes to sports equipment and books – the vast majority being collected from students living in halls of residence.

British Heart Foundation clothing banks were also placed in locations across Bishopston, Horfield, Redland, Cotham, Clifton and Fishponds to collect further donations from city residents.

Student volunteer Hollie Armstrong said: “It's amazing to see what gets donated that might otherwise be thrown away. Bristol Big Give is a really efficient way of recycling these unwanted items - not only does it give back to the local community but it's good for the environment and benefits very worthy causes."

The scheme has had a positive impact on unsightly waste and fly-tipping at the end of term, helping to improve the quality of life for local residents and promote relationship building between neighbours in areas with a high student population.

Rose Rooney, Sustainability Manager at the University of Bristol, said: “The Bristol Big Give is an essential part of how we manage student waste citywide at the end of term. It offers students a valuable opportunity to have a positive impact on their local environment, save resources and help a multitude of local charities.”

Bristol Big Give is a joint initiative from University of Bristol, the University of Bristol Students’ Union (Bristol SU), the University of the West of England, UWE Students’ Union (UWESU), Bristol Waste Company and the British Heart Foundation.

Paul Roberts, Sustainability Operations Manager at UWE Bristol, said: “It is wonderful to see this fantastic multi-agency partnership go from strength to strength, helping students manage their unwanted belongings responsibly and sustainably. Each year we divert more material to local charity shops, saving it from going to waste or littering the streets. We look forward to working with even more partners in 2019.”

Items donated to the clothing banks go straight to the British Heart Foundation, while goods collected from student halls benefit other charities including Children’s Scrapstore, St Mungo’s, Brighter Bristol, and FoodCycle Bristol. This year, the Big Give raised an additional 2 tonnes of reusable goods for local charities. 

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