Eco Ernie the recycling milk float is making his rounds again in Southampton this spring, continuing his relentless quest for student hand-me-downs and unwanted cast-offs.

For the fourth year the Solent University and Southampton City Council project which encourages students to think green is back.

Ernie takes away unwanted items from sports equipment to stuffed toys and even musical instruments.

Last year more than 300 bags of reusable textiles were donated.

And some of the more interesting finds that were given to Ernie included ice skates, inflatable chairs, sombreros and numerous rubber ducks.

Eco Ernie will start collecting today and the goods will be sorted on May 16 at Central Baptist Church in Devonshire Road, Southampton, at a volunteer event, and reusable goods will be sold at the Big Sale on May 17 at the church from 11am to 3pm.

Solent Student’s Union President Christina Stone said “I'm really excited about the upcoming Ernie collections. We’ve had a great take up from students in the past. It’s the perfect opportunity to do some spring cleaning and donate to a good cause.”