Student move out information

Are you a student moving out of your accommodation? Do you want to know what to do with your waste and recycling? You've come to the right place.


Moving – where to start?

Moving can be one of the most stressful things to do! So why not save yourself some worry, get organised and plan ahead, as it can help to reduce that anxiety and make sure your move out doesn’t cost you extra.

One of the most common student move out charges incurred is for the removal of items that have been left behind. This includes both rubbish and unwanted items left at or outside of the property.

Tips to reduce your waste

Try and take things with you to your new accommodation, in order to reduce your waste and help the planet.

If you want to get rid of things that are reusable, please donate them. Don’t put them in the bin or leave them outside the property.

Boxes stacked against a wall

Get sorting!

One of the mistakes made at student move out time is not getting it sorted. Make sure you get yourself organised well before your move out date. To begin with, it can help to sort your belongings into four piles:

  1. Things you plan on taking with you
  2. Reusable items that can be donated to charity, given to foodbanks, passed on to friends etc.
  3. Things that can be recycled either at the kerbside or at the local recycling centre
  4. Things that need to be thrown away
Get It Sorted
Rails of clothing in a charity shop with lots of plants

Donate to charity

Anything you want to donate needs to be clean and useable. If you’re unsure what charity shops will take, then a quick search online will help or simply pop into your local shop and ask them.

Bristol Big Give

The Bristol Big Give is an annual campaign helping students to get rid of quality unwanted, reusable items while helping to raise vital cash for charity. Bring banks are set around the city so keep your eyes peeled and check out their Facebook or Instagram pages.

Bristol Big Give
Bin with Bristol City Council logo on it and a figure in high vis opening it

Put the rubbish out

It is inevitable that you’ll have some rubbish to get rid of. Please remember that your housemates will also need to dispose of things and your wheelie bin needs to be able to close for our crews to collect it.

You can coordinate your move out with your housemates to ensure your waste is put out over a few collections. This is especially important, as it will help make sure you don’t end up fly-tipping by accident (any waste outside of your bin is considered fly-tipping and you can be fined for it).

Collection dates

Check your collection dates here.

Collection days
1100L commercial bin with waste and recycling next to it

Need more room for rubbish?

Does your house have more waste than will fit into just a normal wheelie bin? It’s easy to order a large bin for a one off collection by calling 0800 061 4321. It’s low cost, so split between housemates it may be a great affordable option!

Find out more

And finally, got any bulky items?

Have you got sofas, wardrobes or tables that you need to get rid of? You can book a bulky waste collection from £25. 

My top tip for moving out would probably be making sure that the house is totally empty at the end, so that landlords don’t have the responsibility of moving things out, and ensuring that everything is recycled properly and the bins aren’t too full.

We didn’t do this properly in first year and ended up getting some of our deposit deducted, but we’ve made a huge effort since and have had no further problems, so it’s definitely something worth thinking about!

Sanjeet (21), Bristol University Engineering Student

Useful links

Information for new residents and students

Just moved to Bristol? Make sure you know how to sort out your waste and recycling and when to put it out for collection. 

Your bins and boxes must be put out for collection by 6am on your collection day and removed as soon as possible following collection.

If you’re not sure what day we come by you can put your postcode into the ‘collection day finder’ on the Bristol Council website. Look for the code (for example, Monday B’ or ‘Wednesday A’) and then find the collection calendar that matches that code on our website.

In Bristol, we have an effective kerbside sorting system where residents sort recyclable materials into different recycling boxes. This helps our crews complete their rounds faster, efficiently and means we gather great quality recycling. Not sure what goes where or need a refresher? Download our recycling guide or visit the Get It Sorted page.

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Bristol recycling guide
(2 MB)

You should write your flat or property number on your bins and boxes so you know which ones are yours and stop them getting mixed up in the street.

If you don’t want to write or paint your bin number straight onto the bin, you can request a blank sticker to write on by emailing

We can also provide small stickers for your recycling boxes to remind you should put in each one.

Bins and boxes that are left on streets can make it difficult or impossible for people to use the pavement safely, especially those with pushchairs or wheelchairs, or those who are visually impaired.

Please make sure that bins and boxes are removed from the pavement as soon as possible after collection and kept off the pavement between collections.

If you don’t bring your bin off the street you may get a note on your bin reminding you to do so, or a visit from our community engagement team.

Residents can have as many recycling boxes as they need and we encourage properties to also use our lids to keep materials contained on windy days. Bins, boxes and lids can be ordered for free and we’ll deliver them straight to you.

You can order bins and recycling containers to be delivered on the Bristol City Council website.

Charity organisations collect some large, fit-for-purpose items for free so they can be reused. Some of the organisations in Bristol you could contact are SOFA Project, Emmaus Bristol, Happytat, Sue Ryder or British Heart Foundation.

A Bulky Waste collection can be arranged for a fee where larger items such as mattresses, electrical items, fridges and freezers are collected from the kerbside. We operate two Household Waste Recycling Centres where your tenants can bring their waste, recycling and larger bulky items to dispose of or recycle for free.

Waste disposed of by a landlord is trade waste and must be taken to a commercial facility as it is illegal to dispose of such waste at an HWRC. Please be advised that leaving items out on the kerbside or street can be considered illegal fly-tipping and you could be prosecuted.