Waste mountains and biohazards in student halls
Fergus Healy, WasteSafe Services Director, said: “Before the deep cleaning can start there is always a mountain of waste to remove.
“We recently attended a call-out to a 300-bed hall with 90 kitchens. Students there managed to leave behind five tonnes of waste – and this was despite regular scheduled waste collections throughout the year.”
Body fluids and faeces
The students’ waste is not confined to crumpled lecture notes and unfinished essays. WasteSafe Services also removes more serious waste from student accommodation, including biohazards such as body fluids, faeces, and contaminated food.
Other hazardous waste includes portable external battery chargers and printer cartridges.
There are an estimated 602,000 purpose-built student bed spaces in the UK including nearly 250,000 owned or leased by universities. This means specialist emergency rubbish removal companies like WasteSafe Services are in huge demand during the summer.
Sort, bag and remove several hundred times
The sheer volume and variety of the student accommodation waste is staggering. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that all the students leave at once after spending a year accumulating household and personal items.
Fergus Healy said: “Students leave behind all manner of things. Apart from unwanted clothing and food, they leave televisions, books, and bedding – mattress toppers are a popular item to bring at the start of the academic year, then discard at the end. Then there are the perennial student favourites like traffic cones and street signs.
“Hall managers will do their best to identify anything that can be recycled including computers. They will also have items that require specialist disposal such as WEEE, microwaves and fridges that have to be replaced every few years. It all needs to be sorted, bagged, and removed, and that’s where we step in.”
Levelling the rubbish mountain
Fergus Healy said: “As an emergency waste collection service with very fast response times, we are used to quickly levelling the summer rubbish mountain.
“We’re not the same as a regular scheduled waste collection service. We offer a rapid same-day service, often responding in under 6 hours to any UK postcode. We collect virtually any type of unplanned waste.”
WasteSafe Services is a waste carrier licensed by the Environment Agency. The company only uses trusted waste treatment facilities.
As part of the Safe Group, sister companies offer deep cleaning, pest control and legionella testing. All can be offered as part of an annual maintenance programme.