Manchester is planning to start a kerbside recycling program for the Northern Quarter in the fall of this year. Even Santa Rosa, CA started a recycling program in the eighties — and Santa Rosa was still a hick town back then; the air hung thick with the stench of manure in planting season.
The irony is that Manchester has historically been known as a city where coal smoke blackened the sky. Public and private partnerships have spiffed up the city, even spawning a “Green Quarter” housing district.
But in terms of public services, the Manchester City Council seems behind the times, barely keeping pace with industry and the national government.
Currently, Manchester only runs “bring” sites for recycling, where residents can voluntarily drop off household glass, paper and cans. Neither plastics nor cardboard are accepted. Waste receptacles found on city streets are for rubbish only.
Furthermore, there’s no household hazardous waste program in Manchester either. What do you do with a bag full of compact fluorescent lights, each containing small amounts of mercury? I hope the city council doesn’t wait several more years to make their waste management safer for public health, as the national government plans to phase out the production of incandescent bulbs this year.
What do I care, anyway? Well, to make art, artists have to bring, consume, reshape, and dispose of things. Materials matter.