IT was the weekend of the big move out and the weekend of the huge mess for those living in parts of Southampton.

Mountains of rubbish were left on the streets as thousands of students quit their accommodation homes at the end of the university term.

The streets were strewn with over flowing wheely bins, bulging bin backs and piles of waste

Although some residents blame some of the 30,000 students at the city's two universities for the mess - others pointed the finger at bin divers who rummaged through the waste as soon as the students had gone.

Resident Amanda Brenton, 55, from Portswood, said: "At night, I have seen a couple of men come and go through the bins even if the majority of students have put the bins out tidily.

"It was tidy on Sunday morning and now it isn't - although students can be a nuisance, the majority of them are fine and I've lived here for years."

Another Portswood resident, Elizabeth Brown, 21, who is a student herself, said: "To some extent, the person who creates the rubbish is responsible.

"People need to collect the rubbish eventually - so it is not the binmen's fault because they empty the bins according to a set rota."

Southampton City Council are due to pick up the rubbish on Wednesday each week

Their website states that "black sacks or other waste containers left at the side or on top of bins will not be collected".

Lorraine Barter, a 79-year-old who was previously part of the Polygon Residents Association, in the heart of Southampton said: "I've realised that when students move out, they leave out broken doors, wardrobes and chair legs, but this never happens with families.

"As some of us are good recyclers, we can be resentful because we can see all of this going to landfill. People come around scavenging at night even if students have tied up bags neatly, and that's fine if they can use it."

Andrew Palmer, who lives near The Polygon student area, added: "I run a business in the city and this rubbish will be left for weeks.

"What message does it send to children walking to school? Students do not pay council tax, so the owners and landlords should be made to pay and the council should have the power to legislate.

He added: "I’m embarrassed when visitors say to me how dirty and scruffy the city is."

A spokesperson for the University of Southampton said: “Throughout the year, the University of Southampton and Students’ Union openly encourage students to recycle and donate unwanted items.

“Over recent weeks as we have approached the end of term the Students’ Union has proactively encouraged students to give everything from clothing, shoes and accessories to electrical items, crockery and homeware to the British Heart Foundation’s Pack for Good scheme.

"Collection points have also been set up in halls of residence for unwanted items through the Recycling on your Doorstep scheme.”