The Film and Entertainment Recycling Initiative: Helping Movies and TV Productions Cut Back on Trash


TreeHugger has seen a handful of greening initiatives in the film and entertainment industry, from films like Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth and Sweet Land going carbon neutral to a new film studio going green from the ground up; while all these projects are beneficial, certainly, they leave lots of room for improvement when it comes to on-set waste management and recycling. That's what a new non-profit, called the Film and Entertainment Recycling Initiative (FaERI), is hoping to help tackle.

Their mission is to create a standard of environmental stewardship on every film, TV production and commercial shoot across the United States -- no small task, for sure -- to help manage the waste stream that results from film and television production; over half of the trash produced on a film set is either recyclable, reclaimable or reusable, after all. This will be accomplished by the "on-set recycler", a new position created by FaERI, which will hopefully become a permanent fixture to the film crew. The on-set recycler is needed to manage placing bins around set every day, keeping recyclable materials out of the trash, working with departments to continue finding new materials that can be recycled or reused and following through on ensuring all these materials get to a recycling facility. And though they're just getting started, they already have the support of a few big-time names in Hollywood.

Both William H. Macy (left) and Morgan Freeman (below) have "pitched in" to help FaERI's efforts, which, because they're non-profit, will offer its services to production companies at no additional cost; they'll rely on grants, memberships and personal contributions in order to cover salaries and operating expenses.

Beyond common recyclables, like the aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard pictured above, FaERI will work to find other organizations, schools or charities to donate excess lumber, paint, building supplies, furniture, office supplies, food, clothing and other reusable goods often left at the end of wrap.

Currently, FaERI is just getting started in IA District No. 3 (New England). At the moment, it is focusing mainly on the daily recyclable materials, but hopes to expand to "Phase 2" -- the reusables mentioned above -- and even "Phase 3" composting food from breakfast, lunch and often 3rd meals, as soon as possible.

Though the first step to more efficient waste management is always reducing what we create to begin with, big-time cutbacks aren't going to happen overnight on an operation the size and scale of a film production, so FaERI's services are sorely needed to help stem the tide of junk that just gets tossed aside because nobody has the time to deal with it. Learn more about their ideas and process by visiting ::FaERI


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