Reduce, re-use…readysetrecycle!

I’ve been wondering, while working on Toronto’s Green Theatres, whatever happened to Set/Reset –Toronto’s early and successful experiment in adaptive re-use of theatre and film set materials. Started in 1993 with $1,000 in start up capital, Set/Reset was North America’s first recycling company for the entertainment industry. Occupying a 30,000 square foot warehouse in downtown Toronto, Set/Reset proved that recycling scenery was not only possible but could be profitable.

As an ardent environmentalist, I loved Set/Reset. It was a picker’s and recycler’s dream and saved many a company from investing, yet again, in flats, blacks, lumber and more.

I was delighted to see that it still exists, although it has evolved to become, a new website run by original co-founder Grant Heggie, where industry professionals can list scenery, props and costumes for sale (or giveaway.) Currently the site is set up to serve Toronto, New York and LA. Check it out or contact with questions.

“Our hope (and dream)” according to Grant, “is that Ready Set Recycle will help to green the entertainment industry.”

And why wouldn’t it? Before Set/Reset, when a Toronto show was done, producers would wind up paying thousands of dollars to disposal companies to haul sets away to the dump. Set/Reset took away those materials at half the price and then took the contents, not to landfill, but to their warehouse to be recycled. In its first year of operation, Set/Reset

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processed over 150 tons of scenery. That’s a lot of positive environmental impact.

May build upon that success, this time online, and become an important contributor to Toronto’s Green Theatres!

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