It is a time when a minority of students have often been criticised for leaving rubbish piled outside flats.
But town and gown relations have again been boosted in St Andrews thanks to the unprecedented recycling effort of students who have “given something back” to the wider community.
At this time of year some 2,000 students are moving out of St Andrews University residences and private accommodation clearing out literally tonnes of household items.
Collection points have been set up across the university estate where furniture, clothes, footwear, books, food, sports equipment and other items have been handed in to be redistributed to good causes.
Among those to benefit from the end of term clear-out are the homeless charity Frontline Fife, the Storehouse foodbank in St Andrews which provides food for local families, and children’s charity Barnardo’s.
As well as giving to the local community, this year’s student leavers are also recycling their possessions for next year’s intake.
Through the StAndReUse scheme students are able to hand on crockery, pots, pans, office and other items for redistribution to students arriving for the new academic year in September.
Last year more than one tonne of items was given a new lease of life through the scheme, including a set of golf clubs and a wedding dress.
Barbara Aitken, environment officer at St Andrews University, said: “The traditional end of term clear-out is a huge undertaking requiring careful planning and the involvement of many operational staff, however in the same token it also provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to minimise waste, reuse and recycle their unwanted household goods.
“You literally need to see it to believe it. Feedback on the project is very positive and I am extremely proud of our student body and would like to thank them for making such a valuable contribution to both the local community and to their fellow students.”
Pat Mathewson, president of St Andrews University Students’ Association, said: “We are incredibly proud of the continued student leadership in sustainability, and grateful for the opportunity to not only support the local community but the next generation of St Andreans.”
Storehouse manager Jane Saunders, Frontline Fife CEO Caryn Nicolson and area business retail manager for Barnardo’s Scotland Ailsa Cane have all welcomed the students’ efforts.