As students head home for the summer, the rubbish some leave behind when clearing out can cause issues in the Selly Oak and Bournbrook area. 

Just a couple of days ago, a more serious fire was prevented by the quick actions of firefighters from Bournbrook station when rubbish left out on the street caught aflame.

In a bid to help minimise the issues, students and staff from the University of Birmingham have been out and about helping keep the streets of Selly Oak and Bournbrook clean – while helping a popular charity at the same time!


Run by the university’s Guild of Students since 2011, the end of year Junkbusters scheme encourages students – and permanent local residents – to reuse and recycle their unwanted items. The scheme sees students out in the Junkbusters van, collecting clothes, furnishings, books and more.

The collected items are donated to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to benefit their fundraising efforts.

550 bags have already been collected this year, with a target of over 1,000.

Since the scheme was set up 8 years ago, it has raised £135,000 for the BHF.

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.”

Canal clean-up

Another group, this time of University staff, volunteered 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 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.”

Well done, all! 


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