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Manchester Museum

Oxford Rd.


M13 9PL

United Kingdom

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Event description


A Rubbish Night at the Museum

Do residents in Manchester have to live surrounded by rubbish? Or can we change it?

If you care about Manchester, our neighbourhoods, our communities, and our international reputation, then let's talk about rubbish.

Join us for "A Rubbish Night at the Museum".

The aim is simple and ambitious. We want to challenge and inspire the universities, councils, businesses, waste authorities and residents to work together to build the intellectual and practical capacity to deal with rubbish.

Mayor Andy Burnham wants Greater Manchester to become a "world leading cleaner and greener city region". Yet visitors and international students compare Manchester with their home cities as they step over filth and rubbish.

As one international student put it in a recent research interview “Maybe this is how British people live”.

This event

We want this to be an engaging, enjoyable and memorable event, where we face the Manchester mess, question current policy, and try to improve the future for us all.

There will be over 60 displays of photographs, art work, policy quotes, innovation and research findings, including comments from Manchester residents.

Thursday evening, 19th April 6-9pm is the main event. As well as the displays, there will be conversations, readings, panel discussions and great food.

It will occupy the whole of the beautiful top floor of the Manchester Museum, with direct lift access from the entrance archway on Oxford Rd.

The displays will then remain in place from Friday to Sunday - the Earth Day weekend. Some of the contributors will join conversations on those days too.

Children: there will be fun activities for children on the Saturday, as part of the Museum's Earth Day activities.

Food and drink

On Thursday evening, canapes / nibbles / snacks will be served from 6-8pm by Real Junk Food Manchester. They offer impressive fine dining and catering, from food sourced directly from suppliers that would otherwise go to waste.

The food will include vegan, meat and gluten free options, and both savoury and sweet. As in their restaurant, it will be served on a "pay what you feel" basis.

Drinks, tea and coffee will be available from the Museum bar.

Everyone welcome

The event is for residents, neighbours, policy makers, international and UK students, academics, businesses, waste operators, and everyone interested in reducing waste and rubbish across Greater Manchester.

(If you have the privilege of being paid to deal with GM rubbish professionally, then consider it your job to be there!)

Bring friends and neighbours to enjoy it together, to build collaborations in your area, and to connect with people in other areas.

Provisional programme

Main area

6.00 - 9.00 Displays and conversations. Drinks from the bar. Tea & coffee.

6.00 - 8.00 Canapes / nibbles / snacks served by Real Junk Food Manchester.

Event space

6.00 - 6.30 Displays, canapes, drinks and conversations

6.30 - 6.45 Readings of resident experiences.

6.45 - 7.30 Public and panel discussion: what are the challenges, and what are the solutions? Resident experience and questions will direct and focus the discussion. Invited panel to include a waste/recycling policy maker, researcher, campaigner, and active resident.

7.30 - 8.00 Break: Displays, food, drinks and conversations.

8.00 - 8.35 Discussion: building a shared vision and commitment for ways forward.

8.35 - 8.50 Readings of resident experiences (repeat).

8.50 - 9.00 Networking and close.

Remember the 60+ displays will remain for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday daytime.

Register for the Rubbish Night - Free

Register in advance because this large beautiful space is ultimately limited, because we want to know that people across Manchester have heard about the event, and because we want to avoid wasting good food!

Over 100 people have registered already, so don't delay. Put Thursday 19th April 6pm in your diary.


With the pressures of "peak stuff" and multiple-occupancy houses, there are many causes for this rubbish. We need a #GMRubbishPolicy that recognises them, and works. (We'll use the hashtag to continue the discussions.)

The event is intended to be an engaging and enjoyable way to help us all to identify the issues, question current policy with confidence, and make a practical difference in our streets. GM authorities need to work with residents to solve this problem. So let's try to make it happen.

Organisers and funders

With many contributors, the event is organised by "Upping It" (an award-winning community organisation in Manchester) in collaboration with The Manchester Museum as part of the Museum's sustainability agenda.

The event draws on collaborative research at The University of Manchester, Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI). It is funded by the SCI, plus the University's "engaging our communities" fund.



There will be fun rubbish activities for children on the Saturday, which is a 'Big Saturday' at the Museum to celebrate Earth Day on 22nd.

Disabled access

The lift is direct to the top floor from the entrance in the Museum archway on Oxford Rd. Toilets are on the ground and top floors.

Participation as a contributor

If you, your group or organisation would like to propose contributing a display or objects to the event, either directly based on resident experience, or about innovative socially and environmentally responsible means of waste prevention, waste reduction or post-consumer waste management, or about current waste policy and its critiques, directly relevant to Greater Manchester, then please email a suggestion to

Note there are no spaces for stalls, and displays need to be primarily about the issues of waste, waste management and rubbish, not promoting your organisation. They need to be engaging and relevant to Manchester residents, but may also have more information for those with particular interests.

We are also interested in a loan and delivery of a reverse vending machine, loan and delivery of clean 140l wheelie bins of all colours, and the supply of printed hi-viz vests and high quality litter-picking kits.


Any questions about the event, contact Simon on

Any questions about the Museum, contact the Museum on 0161 275 2648

Full address of venue:

Manchester Museum
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

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Manchester Museum

Oxford Rd.


M13 9PL

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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