Engage Site Crew

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Production Waste (Initiatives for Production/Site Crew)

With the time constraints that affect events such as festivals and exhibitions there can sometimes be a lack of involvement in ensuring a sustainable approach during event builds and breakdowns. Many production/ site crews are predominantly influenced by getting the job complete on time and therefore can limit their motivation to address waste issues in a sustainable manor. In order for this to happen an event organisation must ensure that it has considered and implemented a strong logistical approach towards recycling.

The ways that this issue can be addressed with production/ site crew include:

  • Pre-plan production waste - Have an understanding prior to your event what waste crews will be creating in order to have procedures in place to tackle this during the event.
  • Understanding concepts - Ensure event crews understand your recycling strategies and the items that need to be separated and recycled.
  • Crew Engagement - Get crews to be actively involved in reducing waste.
  • Set targets - Give site crew recycling targets to achieve during builds and breakdowns so they have something that they can work towards rather than leaving them with the decision of how much they are involved.
  • Rewards for recycling - Offer beer/ food vouchers to teams that recycle a set amount of waste.
  • Offer incentives- Offer site crew/ production companies rewards for their efforts over the event in reducing waste.
  • Charter - Produce a waste reduction charter for the event to distribute to site crews to make them aware of the policies set for the event in regard to waste reduction.
  • Appropriate bins in production areas - Ensure that during the build and breakdown of the event that you have appropriate recycling bins in production areas where crew can easily separate materials for recycling or re-use.
  • Challenge crews to find alternative ways (e.g. not using gaffer tape/ cable ties) - Encourage teams to find ways that are more environmentally friendly. Cable ties are an example and a lot of them can be used during an event and if they are not recyclable present a problem (especially the off-cuts!). Find out whether a production team can use clamps or brackets that can be used at next year’s event.
  • Waste restrictions - Set limits to how much waste will end up at landfill sites.
  • Include clean pitch bonds, refundable post event- Refund companies with a deposit that they paid prior to the event if they leave the event site in its original condition and have been involved in reducing their waste.
  • Ethical purchasing - Persuade crews to make ethical purchasing of materials so that the items that they have purchased have less impact to the environment.
  • Product miles - Source materials locally so that there are no long distances to transport these products, therefore reducing CO2 emissions
  • Identify what can be salvaged for re-use - Identify from material off-cuts what can be salvaged and re-used in another areas of the festival/ event. Create a salvage area where production teams can use products that other crews have deposited in this area.
  • Salvage products rather than buying new- Find out whether items can be salvaged from salvage yards or markets instead of buying new to encourage recycling and will also keep your production costs down.

Prepared by Martin Chorley - UK Intern, SEA