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A Green and Tidy Move Out

We’re staying conscious of the planet and our local neighbourhoods as our students leave the City for the summer.

Under the award-winning Green Move Out environmental scheme, at the end of the academic year students’ unwanted belongings are collected and donated to local charities.

Students living in University or private accommodation (including Purpose Built Student Accommodation) are encouraged to ‘Leave Durham Tidy’, by donating clothes, shoes, bedding, electrical items, pots and pans, crockery, books and non-perishable food for reuse.

Green Move Out has run for the last 17 years, coming a long way from its roots as a one-charity collection scheme within the University. Now students in Colleges and private accommodation work with Durham University, Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary and County Durham Furniture Help Scheme (CDFHS), to achieve this large-scale feat.

Items are reused, diverted or sold – reducing the waste being disposed of, and helping a great local charity.

In 2020, the Green Move Out saw 1,600 bags filled with donations from students. This 11.8 tonnes of material took the total collected since 2005 to 198 tonnes.

The Scheme not only diverts tonnes of waste from being disposed of every year, but also contributes hundreds of pounds worth of resources to local charities, and fosters a strong ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ ethos across the student community.

Durham Student Volunteers and CDFHS representatives will deliver the distinctive Durham University ‘purple’ donation bags within Durham City and bags are due to be collected on weekdays from Monday 21 June, until the start of August. Durham County Council staff will be carrying out door knocks across the City to offer advice about waste, reuse and recycling.

This year, the scheme has expanded to include more student properties across Durham City which will be delivered with the support of additional student volunteers and our Student Community Wardens.

Working with Durham County Council and Public Health England, we have developed robust health and safety plans, informed by UK government guidance, to meet the challenges posed by Covid-19 in a changing environment. The Green Move Out was made Covid-19 safe in 2020 and measures continue to be in place to protect staff, students and volunteers with safe behaviours reminders throughout.

We encourage our university community to follow Government and University regulations, to test regularly and to inform us if they have Covid-19 symptoms, a positive test result or have been identified as a close contact. Reporting in this way helps us to work proactively with Durham County Council and Public Health England to manage cases on campus, help reduce transmission and identify any cases and contacts early.

Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) said: “I’m so proud of everyone involved in the Green Move Out scheme and how we have developed it into the operation it is today. Building and growing good relations between the University and the community in which we live and work is extremely important to us, as is the highly-valued partnership with Durham County Council.

“The scheme is packed full of benefits: it’s environmentally responsible; it lets students ‘trade’ many otherwise-unwanted items thus sparing themselves expense; it raises money for local good causes; and it’s a practical expression of good-neighbourliness, helping to build and grow. These are so significant to our University community and contribute to the high-value of this scheme for us.”

For more information on Green Move Out, visit