University and council team up to tackle waste in Portsmouth


Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth teamed up again this year to support students and residents to recycle more and tackle rubbish issues in areas of Southsea and Somerstown.

Students were recruited and trained to work with the council as volunteers, helping drive the message home of how to dispose of rubbish correctly. The volunteers visited students and residents to speak about how they can manage waste correctly and promoted recycling services, to help make the city safe, clean, and tidy.

Cllr Suzy Horton, the council’s Deputy Leader, and Cllr Chris Attwell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services, joined the students in visiting residents. Cllr Horton said: “Students from across the country, let alone all over the world, come to our fantastic city to study. With no one national standard for recycling, they may be used to many different types of rubbish and recycling rules. That’s why it is so important we explain how it works in Portsmouth.

“Now in its second year, we have seen a positive impact of our engagement with students in shared houses, as the volunteers have been able to educate on waste and recycling guidelines at the earliest opportunity which has set them up at the start of the year. Speaking to the residents, we have found ways to help them straight away such as explaining which bins to use, how they can request a larger bin and what they should do when they have excess waste above their weekly allowance. The residents we spoke to said they found the information extremely helpful.”

Both the council and the university will work together to inform students on how to dispose of waste correctly.

Ian McCormack, Energy and Environmental Manager at the University of Portsmouth, said: “We are keen to lend our weight to the council’s plan to reduce waste and to educate students on recycling and waste guidelines in the city.

“We have developed the project to train students to help solve waste issues in the area where students typically live. By having them volunteer as champions in the community, educating those who don’t dispose of their rubbish properly on the right way to do things, providing easier ways to dispose of unwanted items and by taking enforcement action where necessary will, we hope, improve the situation.

“We take pride in our city and take very seriously the role we play in our wider community.”

Projects like this are all part of the council’s plan to encourage recycling and reduce waste – helping make Portsmouth a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable city.

Find out more about what you can and can’t recycle at

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