‘Rag and bone man’ returns to clear Nottingham student waste

Horse and Cart with Owner Andy Cook

The ‘rag and bone man’ is making a brief comeback in Nottingham as part of a drive to clear up waste in student areas.

A traditional horse and cart took to the streets of Lenton on Thursday to help students clear out old and unwanted items.

The University of Nottingham and Nottingham City Council organised the horse and dray as an eye-catching way of making sure the area is cleared up for summer.

Each year the university runs a campaign to cut the waste generated when students move out of rented homes in their thousands and avoid overflowing bins and messy streets.

The dray, pictured below, picked up items from students and residents which could be re-used or recycled. The items are now being collected for charity.

The stunt revived memories of ‘rag and bone men‘ who were common until the 1970s and would tour city streets asking for unwanted items.

Kirsty McKeown, student affairs assistant for the university, said: “We wanted to do something different, we’ve got so many students moving out at a similar time in Nottingham and we tried to think how can we do this differently this year.

“So we thought about the old fashioned Rag and Bone man that used to come and people would bring out their stuff, so we tried to replicate it in a modern way in order to help charity.

“If it’s a success we would really like to do it again.”

They ought to bring horses back and get rid of all the cars

Andy Cook, the owner of Whiteborough Carriages, a family-run horse-drawn carriage business, which is based on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border, ran the cart for the day.

He said: “They ought to bring horses back and get rid of all the cars in my view.

“It’s a really nice way of life and we make a living out of it.”

Andy Cook with his Shire Horses

University of Nottingham student Vicky Lorriman said: “I know that my housemates have a couple of board games that we don’t play any more like Ludo and Snakes and Ladders, but honestly just anything, like t-shirts, books, CDs, DVDs, just things that you don’t really use or need any more will be really much appreciated.”

It brings you back to childhood

Operations waste manager for Nottingham City Council, Alvin Henry, said: “For me personally it brings me back to my childhood, but when people have got items to dispose of they need something in their head to say ‘where does that go?’

“Does it go in the green bin, the brown bin and I think when they see this it might stick and make them make that right choice to dispose of the right items in the right place.”


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