Recycling, The Movie – Talkin’ Trash, April 2015

Lights, Camera…Recycling!

For those who have yet to see the critically acclaimed movie Boyhood, it’s a coming of age story following the life of Mason Evans Jr. as he grows from 6 years old to 18.  It’s a poignant, revealing and insightful tale…but what adds an extra element to the story is knowing that the movie was shot over 12 years, with the same actors aging and growing in real time with the characters they play…that’s the same Ellar Coltrane playing Mason at 6 years old, 18 years old, and everything in between.

Well by seeming coincidence, I had a similar idea for a movie, but instead of following the story of a person, I was going to follow the story of a piece of paper as it comes of age.  And by equal coincidence, I was going to title my film…

Garbage Hood (working title: Before Recycling)

(I’d like to thank the Academy…and apologize to R. Linklater)

Opening scene

Close-up of a tree, complete silence.  Camera pans out slowly, revealing the tree to be in the middle of a logging operation.  Pan out captures tree chopping down machine; silence is broken by loud whack as chopping thingie swings towards our tree, setting off a rapid montage (to some sort of inspirational, yet somewhat obscure, music) showing the now felled tree being transported, sliced, diced, pulped and paper.  Scene ends with music holding a sustained note as we watch, in slow motion, newly made piece of 8.5 x 11 paper being wrapped into a sheaf and packaged in a box.

Six months later

Close-up of our sheet of paper coming out of a photocopier, adding to a stack of other printed sheets.  Still in close-up, hands pick-up stack of paper; we follow paper being carried to a different location then watch as the sheets are distributed around a meeting table.  Pan into tight close-up of our sheet so that we can read what’s been printed:

  1. Approval of minutes
  2. Standing items
  3. Roundtable discussion
  4. Next meeting: same time next week

Pan-out from sheet.  Meeting is over.  Close-up of hands collecting sheets of paper still left on table.  Pan right, focus on garbage bin.  Pan a little further right, focus on recycling bin.  Pan back to hands and follow as they deposit collected sheets into garbage bin then proceed past recycling bin.

One week later

Close-up of sheet of paper mixed with garbage.  Pan-out to reveal paper is being dumped into landfill and covered with other waste.

One year later

Close-up of our sheet of paper.  It is dirty, tattered, but still pretty much intact.  Meeting agenda can still be read clearly.

Another year later

Same scene as before.

Another year later

Same scene as before…

Closing Scene

Close-up of meeting agenda.  Pan out to reveal agenda is being viewed on an iThingie not a piece of paper.  Cut to montage of full paper recycling bin being collected, shipped to the recycling plant and processed (to some sort of even more inspirational, yet equally obscure, music).  Freeze on image of new, recycled piece of paper emerging from paper making thingie.  Scroll words with charismatic voice over:

Recycling is not only good for the environment, but saves UHN money…so if you’re throwing recyclables in the garbage, it’s almost like throwing away the hospital’s money.  Because UHN uses a private a company for recycling, the “rules” are different than what you’re used to at home.  Familiarize yourself with UHN’s recycling program and participate.  It’s the right thing to do.

Fade to black.  Roll credits.

3 thoughts on “Recycling, The Movie – Talkin’ Trash, April 2015

  1. “Pan back to hands and follow as they deposit collected sheets into garbage bin then proceed past recycling bin.”

    How about you walk around UHN to ensure proper recpticles are accessable, I sure know they aren’t accessable nor available in the MSICU.


    • Hi there,
      We are always looking for places to improve recycling. We do “patrol” many areas in UHN, but as you know, UHN is absolutely HUGE … just shy of 6 million square feet. Because of that, we rely on the eyes and ears of all the staff that work here. Can you let me know which MSICU you are at? The one at Toronto Western instituted their very own recycling bin and special clinical signage program. You can see it in their Blue Bin video If you need any extra bins, signs and labels, you can also contact the housekeeping department anytime with your request.Let me know if you need any more help with this.



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