Our award-winning, bespoke end-of-year household goods re-use programme, Don't Ditch It, returns for 2021
Now in its twelfth year, the Don't Ditch It project gives students the opportunity to donate unwanted items during the move-out period so that they can be repurposed. Hundreds of tonnes have been diverted from landfill to local charities, community groups and fellow students over the years, benefiting the local community, those in need and helping to create a more circular economy on campus.
How does it work?
Every year, our fantastic Green Lancaster Team organises the installation of donation points at every college on campus. Each donation point is then equipt with boxes in which students can come and drop off any unwanted items, helping to take the stress out of moving out!
These donations are then collected and sorted through at our Circular Resources Hub by our dedicated team of SU student-staff (if you're interested in joining the team next summer, we post the positions on the Employment and Recruitment Service portal around May/June).
From here community groups, local and national charities are able to come and collect what they need. We invite over fifty registered charities to the site each year, benefiting a wide range of important causes, from the British Heart Foundation to the local community groups such as Skerton Food Club, SafeNet and Precious Plastic Lancaster. If you work with a local community group or charity and would like to find out more, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also run an ECOShop at the start of the new academic year, providing students with access to affordable second-hand items and extra funding for the project.
Don't Ditch It Project Impact
Before Don't Ditch It (formerly known as the Exodus Project) is wasn't uncommon to see campus bin stores overflowing with unwanted items during the campus move-out period. With thousands of students packing up their lives in such a short space of time, it is unsurprising that refuse spaces were easily overwhelmed. Moving out can be a stressful process and for many students transporting all their belongings home isn't always an option. In steps the Don't Ditch It project, diverting tonnes of unwanted items from landfill, to good causes.
Speaking about the project, Development Manager for Environmental Sustainability, Darren Axe said: "Don't Ditch It is one of our core resource efficiency and circular economy projects with significant positive impact for the environment and local community. The project came about to provide an action-focused response to the large volumes of redundant household goods that become available from student accommodation at the end of the academic year.
Starting with a modest operation in 2010 with a small group of local charities, the project has now scaled to reach over 50 local, regional and national charities, distributing donations of over 40 tonnes of household goods per year.
Most importantly, the project is delivered by a team of student staff, bolstering the sustainability skills and career development prospects for our graduates who are increasingly looking for careers framed around the sustainable development agenda tackling the climate and ecological emergency."
Green Lancaster Projects Coordinator, Naomi Young said: "I’m delighted we’re able to run Don't Ditch It for the 12th year, despite the challenges of the pandemic. This is an invaluable project, diverting over 40 tonnes of unwanted household items from landfill each year to create a circular economy at Lancaster University".
In 2011 the project was awarded a Green Gown Award, in the Student Projects and Initiatives category, for its contributions to Sustainability and continues to develop in partnership with the Universities Facilities team every year.
How to donate
Donating your unwanted items is easy. Simply look up your nearest donation point, carefully bag up your items (taking care to wrap breakables or potentially hazardous items) and drop off.
📌 Bowland Avenue (opposite Chaplaincy)
📌 Furness Avenue
📌 Alexandra Park Boulevard (opposite Barker House marquee)
📌 Pendle Avenue
📌 Chancellor's Wharf Bike Sheds (CW residents only)
Living in off-campus accommodation? You can donate any unwanted items directly to the charity shops in town. There are lots of charities that would love to receive your donations!
#DONTDitchIt: Helping you to move out and to build a circular economy here at Lancaster.