junkbusters van
Students and staff out and about in Selly Oak with the Junkbusters van

With exams over and the summer break beckoning, University of Birmingham students and staff are turning their attention to the local environment with two clean-up initiatives.

Junkbusters, organised by the Guild of Students, is a project set up to collected unwanted clothes, books and household items from student houses across Selly Oak and Bournbrook. All items collected are then donated to the British Heart Foundation to help the charity raise funds for their life-saving research.

Many students are involved in this operation, which helps to clear our streets and supports re-use and recycling initiatives. This year so far the team has collected 550 bags, with a target of more than 1,000. Since the scheme was established in 2011, it has raised £135,000 for the British Heart Foundation.

Guild of Students Welfare and Community Officer Izzy Bygrave, said: “We are passionate about Selly Oak and its environment. Junkbusters is a great scheme for helping students and permanent residents at the end of the year. Alongside this we’ve also been doing litter picks, speaking to students about waste issues and engaging directly with the council where appropriate.”

Another group, this time of University staff, volunteered with to collect litter and dredge the canal on the stretch between Battery Park and the Edgbaston campus. Around 30 people spent Clean Air Day on 20th June making this stretch of canal better for everyone who uses it, in partnership with Unite and the Canal and River Trust.

University Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator Peter Edwards said: “Schemes like this are so important to both the University and the local community. It is important we look after the areas we use, for the benefit of all. I’m delighted that once we were finished at the canal, there wasn’t a spot of litter to be seen. Our plan is to ‘adopt’ this stretch of canal, and continue to look after it.”

For further information, please contact Head of Communications and Engagement (Infrastructure) Sally Xerri-Brooks on +44 (0)121 414 3984.