In the case of the art department, Ollie Tiong put together a breakdown detailing parts of the set that could be reused versus bits that would likely be sent to the skip. I took this plan and set about working out how to rehome as many items as possible. Jo had also mentioned Dresd to me, a company specialising in building sets from reclaimed materials who can also consult on breaking them down in a way that saves as many materials as possible. They can also act purely as a transport service, collecting items to go into their store in Cardiff, to be reused on future productions. However on this occasion I opted to try and rehome everything locally, keeping Dresd in my back pocket just in case.
As is typical, Ollie’s action plan slipped down my to do list as organising the shoot itself took priority. As I waited for answers from recycling companies I had contacted, I jeopardised the deadline for confirming our skip which had to be in place by the time we wrapped on the final day. At the end of our second day, once everything else had been taken care of, I took to social media. I posted the items we were going to have on Set Swap Cycle on Facebook, put a snap on Instagram (with all the relevant hashtags) and advertised on Gumtree.
The baths in action for the visuals...
What ensued was a mad virtual yard sale, which saw me chatting with a wide variety of characters from different industries, and checking in with art department for updates on prospective wrap times of various items in order to arrange collection times. I enjoyed it - although it was far from my ideal and did add to my workload, it was definitely rewarding. By the end of the day we had given our bathtubs away to a private property developer, our plinths to an artist, our miscellaneous bungee cords, paint and other bits and bobs to a local art director, the colouramas to the family of our director Adam Smith (for making murals), and our old rope had gone to our sailing DIT. Happy days! In the end, I was able to book in a single waste collection for production waste and avoided the need for a skip.
...and waiting for collection!
When I embark on this next time, I would definitely action things earlier via social media - although we made it work, it was a bit of a last minute scramble! I’d also implement a waste management plan for production waste - being at 3 Mills meant we had to handle it ourselves which was new to me, but did highlight that reducing waste would reduce the cost of any collection we would need. I’ll also be getting to grips with Quantum Waste for waste/ recycling/ food waste next time I’m on location. Ramboard is now my floor protection of choice - I’ve got some for my short film shoot so I’ll be keeping hold of that for reuse!
The experience has left me keen to be more environmentally conscious and to be aware of the wider context in which we do our work. I’m very proud of my first stab at it and the warm glow I got from the wonders of waste management! By thinking about the world around me and our production within it, I saw how blinkered I tend to become when committed to getting the work done. By opening up the possibility of working with our community, I became profoundly aware of how many excuses I usually make, how I compromise my ethics, and contribute to wastefulness of this industry. With the bigger picture in mind, I found myself thinking outside the box and being more creative. The challenge of it actually made the shoot more fun - it felt like a game rather than a headache!
Thanks AdGreen! Onwards and upwards…"
To help you on your shoot, check out our Five Easy Things to get some inspiration. You can also point your crew to What Can I Do? and use our signage for your recycling bins and general awareness raising. The Sustainable Production Agreement is also a great way to make sure you’ve ticked as many green boxes as possible, and our FAQ section can help with info about coolers, cups and Ram Board. If you'd like to help inspire others by sharing your experience, get in touch. Just 3 or 4 points and a few pics is enough for us to put together a case study.