Everyone agrees that recycling is a good thing and around 90% of Mancunians say that they want to recycle more. So why don't we?
We know that already people are increasing the amount of paper, glass and aluminium recycled; this year you recycled 100 tonnes of Christmas trees compared to just three tonnes four years ago, you now recycle 40 per cent more yellow pages than two years ago, and in the last two years over six thousand of you have purchased compost bins from the Council (at very attractive prices!). At home, I use a compost bin bought via the Council a few years ago, I use the glass/cans and green bins provided by the council, and deliver plastic bottles to a nearby bring site (my paper and cardboard all goes to a canal restoration charity that has been collecting in the Crumpsall area for as long as I can remember). As far as possible I make sure that surplus furniture, clothing and household effects are offered for re-use and I'm particularly proud of the city's system for collecting and removing free of charge the large, bulky objects that residents no longer require. So what more can be done?
That's what we want you to tell us. We are about to launch a massive consultation asking people what would help them to recycle more?
There will be a lot of publicity later this month when we launch the consultation - watch out for your chance to take part - and this morning I record an interview for Channel M encouraging Manchester people to tell us how they can recycle more and what we can do as a council to help.
Then on to Manchester Central to open the Building Schools Exhibition Conference. I welcome a couple of thousands delegates from all over the country to this major event centred around an unprecedented national programme of school improvements including our own Building Schools for the Future and Academies programme and the developing equivalent for primary schools. We've got here headteachers, educationalists, government officials, designers - basically anyone to do with school buildings. They are taking a series of trips out to various parts of the city to see the improvements we are making in our infrastructure. Improving attainment for our children is an important target for the City Council, and providing proper facilities for those improvements is an obvious and basic step in the process.