For most Greater Manchester residents, spending the night reading and talking about litter and waste doesn’t rank highly on the fun scale, when we spend most of our day kicking our way through it, on the streets and down the alleyways.
And yet, UppingIt – the good folks behind the highly successful `A Rubbish Night at the Museum’ launch event on 19th April – achieved just that. Hundreds turned up and the weekend-long event has been so popular that its Manchester Museum hosts have extended it for another fortnight.
Clearly, they’ve tapped into a rich seam of irritation, disgust and despair about the state of our streets. But it wasn’t all doom, griping and tales of filth and detritus. Solutions were on offer. The problem is complex. It’s not just the fault of the waste collection authorities and their contractors. We’re all to blame; we’re also part of the solution.
Consumerism and our throw-away culture are key factors.
The Furniture Poverty Hub were there, extolling the virtues of reuse, particularly when one tires of an old piece of furniture or an electrical appliance.
One simple act we can all NOT perform is cut off fire safety labels stitched into the underside of newly purchased sofas and armchairs. Once they’re off, charities who would reuse them and sell at affordable prices to low income households, simply can’t take them (it’s an insurance thing).
You don’t actually need to do a thing to make a big difference in reducing the numbers of sofas sent to landfill or incineration each year. JUST DON’T TOUCH THE FIRE SAFETY LABELS.
If charities can take it, it just might reduce fly-tipping.
It’s well worth a visit to the Manchester Museum if you’re in the Oxford Road area. The exhibition runs until 5th May 2018.