Charleston officials are bracing for their biggest trash dump days of the year when downtown college student leases come to an end in the days ahead.

The traditional end of the lease period — late July into early August — means sidewalks are often blocked by piles of bags, clothing, couches and other items left by students moving out.

“This is the worst,” Dan Riccio, director of livability for the city, said of all the seasonal wind-downs.

In response, the city and the College of Charleston are sponsoring “Operation Move-Out,” which focuses on avoiding the sudden build-up of discarded household goods cluttering sidewalks.

The goal, Riccio said, is to encourage recycling and to make donations to charitable groups, such as Goodwill Industries and others, and observing a sense of order when students clean apartments for the last time.

That means items placed in boxes or trash bags and “not just thrown into the streets,” Riccio said.

Among the approaches are fliers being distributed through leasing agents to be given to tenants before they move out, informing them of disposal options.

Other aspects include city Livability Division code enforcement officers conducting patrols where trash is being put out early.

And on Saturday, trucks will remove existing trash from the curbs in preparation for the July 31 move out. This cleanup will run until 4:30 p.m.

Additionally, tenants can place their trash on the curb on Sunday for regular Monday pickup. Extra sanitation crews will be collecting trash on Tuesday and Friday as old tenants move out and new tenants move in, officials said.

The Office of Community Relations at the college donated $2,000 to help pay for the additional resources provided by the city’s sanitation crews.

Riccio said the goal is to avoid a city-wide mess. “This is a peak time for us,” he said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.