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Supporting Donations and Reuse: our Changeover Campaign

Blog Posts

 The University of Leeds, along with Leeds Beckett University, Unipol, and Leeds City Council, have been making significant strides in reducing waste and encouraging reuse among students through our Changeover Campaign. 

What is 'Changeover'?

Changeover is an annual period in Leeds where thousands of tenants have to move between their rented homes at the end of June and the beginning of July.   

This can be a very stressful time for those who are moving, and consequently a lot of waste is often generated. Tenants face barriers such as not knowing how to dispose of waste properly or not having the resources to do so responsibly. Furthermore, most tenancies end on 30 June and begin on 1 July. This means that many have a period with no place to keep their belongings, which results in more items being discarded.

Our campaign aims to limit this waste through initiatives like donation banks, providing guidance, and collaborating with other universities and the council. This article highlights the outcomes of these efforts last year and how they have informed our 2024 changeover plans. 

Our 2023 Changeover Campaign 

Last June, in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University, Unipol, and Leeds City Council, we facilitated efforts to minimize negative social and environmental impacts during the tenancy changeover period. This involved providing guidance and piloting a project that installed four British Heart Foundation donation banks in the area. 

The campaign enlisted a team of seven Moving Out Ambassadors who distributed 7,000 leaflets and visited 2,500 residences in the inner north-west Leeds area. Their mission was to provide information on how to responsibly pass on items no longer needed.

Woman holding a 'Welcome to Leeds' booklet

What did the Project Reveal? 

The pilot project revealed that donation banks strategically placed within communities offer individuals the convenience of making contributions whenever it suits them best. From Easter 2023 to October 2023, four banks were operational, and data analysis indicates consistent utilization throughout all months, with a notable increase during the summer. Altogether, these banks received over 3,000 bags of donated clothes, books, bedding, and small household items, diverting nearly 30 tonnes of items from general waste bins. 

A bright green clothing donation bank and a grey glass recycling bank

Our 2024 Changeover Campaign

In an ongoing effort to promote more sustainable moving-out behaviours, four new banks were installed in March across Headingley, Hyde Park, and Woodhouse, with further expansions planned post-Easter. This year, we renewed our partnership with the British Heart Foundation and welcomed a new local partner, Revive Reuse. Revive Reuse are a Community Interest Company, who collaborate closely with Leeds City Council, and whose profits support two member charities, SLATE and SVP. 

For precise bank locations, alongside food, book, and glass drop-off points, please refer to this article. Students can also access advice on alternative donation routes and moving tips through the Unipol webpage. 

We understand that students would like to divert unwanted items from landfills and ensure their continued use, but moving can be a hectic time. By installing multiple donation banks, individuals have convenient options near their residences, available at their convenience.

- Quote from Ayesha Hall, Student Citizenship Programme Officer. 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on social impact is linked to the following SDGs:

  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Goal 17: Partnerships

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced inequalitiesUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communitiesUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals