Go Green canal litter-pick
  • Staff and student volunteers will be litter picking on Aston Locks
  • Part of University’s ‘Go Green week’, set up 13 years ago
  • Litter pick will be followed by flower planting session to help Birmingham bloom. 

A section of Birmingham’s canal network is to get a clean-up by Aston University staff and students.

The University volunteers will be litter picking on Aston Locks which is just north of the city centre.

The event is part of the University’s ‘Go Green week’ taking place 20 to 24 March, which was set up 13 years ago to encourage staff and students to play an active part in protecting the environment. 

This year’s litter pick will start in the morning of 22 March and will be followed by a flower planting session in a small garden by the canal to help Birmingham bloom. 

The litter pickers usually collect around 20kg of rubbish, the same weight as 10 bags of sugar.

Vitor Furlong, environment and sustainability manager at Aston University, said: “We aim to make our campus one of the greenest and with the least environmental impacts as possible and have a range of projects to achieve this.

“We have also ‘adopted’ a section alongside the Aston Locks area of the canal network which is near to our campus. We’ll be concentrating our tidy-up there, but if more volunteers come forward we’ll expand the area of our clean-up.

“Oddly, we usually find cash which always surprises me! We donate these proceedings to our Hedgehog Friendly Campus fundraising pot at Aston Students’ Union.” 

Earlier this month Aston University was given an award by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in recognition of work done to encourage the now endangered species to thrive on campus.  

The litter pick is supported by the Canal and River Trust which is providing equipment and PPE, and property firm Bruntwood which has joined the activity.

Photo caption: (l-r) contract manager, Lisa Hill; employees of Suez waste management; Aleema Khalil, student placement; Vitor Furlong, environment and sustainability manager at Aston University and Amanpreet Sidhu, Student Union go green champion. 

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
Press and Communications Manager


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