Around this time last year we began recommending Quantum Waste, an ethical composting, recycling, and waste company; adding full details of their location waste service to our Waste Management on Set page. QW have been extremely busy servicing a myriad of location shoots over the past 12 months, so we thought we'd get an update from MD Javier Rojo...
What's happened in the last 12 months:
- > Quantum Waste have picked up waste from 242 shoots
- > They have collected 5954 bags
- > In the past year, 65 production companies and location managers have signed up for a Quantum Waste account, including We Are Find, Scout Productions, Blink, Stink and Rattling Stick
- > Of nearly 6000 bags collected roughly 20% are food waste (plus more food waste is recovered from the 'everything else' bags - although it shouldn't be in there as a rule!), and 80% are everything else bags
- > On average, around 90% of shoot waste collected by Quantum Waste is diverted from landfill, although it varies from shoot to shoot
'Since we began working with production companies and location managers, we've collected almost 6000 bags of waste, around 90% of which is being either composted or recycled’
Anything we're routinely getting wrong? Now's the chance to tell us!
JR: Food waste separation still needs to be improved. Almost as much food is recovered from the everything else bags as from the food waste bags. Everyone on set needs a reminder to scrape their food from their dishes before they throw them away into the everything else bag. Having food waste mixed in renders any contaminated materials unrecyclable. Perhaps the caterers can remind people as they serve them? Or signs on the dining bus?
What is the most commonly collected material that can't be recycled?
JR: Correx is not recyclable in London - the manufacturers claim that the plastic is recyclable, however having asked around, nobody wants to buy the used material to make into new things. If there is no demand for something then we really have to deem it unrecyclable. The best thing to do would be to use an alternative like Ram Board, or other reusable protection methods like dust sheets. Or have crew take their shoes off!
What's the weirdest thing you've collected?
JR: We collect all kinds of things: trees, bushes, furniture, Christmas decorations, files, folders, tables, cabinets - and even some rather beautiful objects. However, the weirdest thing we picked up was a desk with a dildo disguised as a cucumber in one of the drawers... [we think this is the offending item!]
What have you learned from being involved in shoots over the past 12 months?
JR: Prior to working with production companies and location managers, our main experience was working with small restaurants and educational institutions. The conversation we had internally when we started working with your industry 12 months ago was about the size of your average operation: it's massive! We've also been really interested to learn about the role of the Location Manager, and the amount of paperwork and preparation involved in advance of the artistic work.
'Quantum Waste has become an important part of our push to help productions go green in an easy and cost effective way. They not only divert around 90% from landfill, but their tracking system allows us to receive information on how many bags were collected, at what time, as well as the balance of recyclable and non-recyclable waste. On top of that, their reporting and payment process is also very simple. We don’t want to work with any one else!'
Location Manager at We Are Find
WOW. So great to know that so many shoots have made the simple, positive switch to Quantum Waste - let's see if we can double the number of productions responsibly dealing with their waste by this time next year! If you have a location shoot coming up and you're not sure who's collecting your waste, check with your location manager. It's very easy to sign up - check out the details here.
Getting involved in separating on set, some beautiful bins, and the Quantum Waste team out collecting on wrap!