In July 2014, Metro announced the Let's Talk Trash film contest designed to engage local filmmakers to develop short films, each less than 10 minutes, about garbage:
- Where does garbage go once it leaves the curb? Where should it go?
- What happens to garbage?
- How can or could technology affect garbage?
- What does garbage do for us? Or what could it do?
More than a dozen entries were received, and five films were chosen as finalists to be shown at a gala, held as part of the NW Film Center's 41st Northwest Filmmakers' Festival on Nov. 10.
- "Garbage Days," a film by David Wester that illustrates the role of consumerism and discarded packaging on our economy and our waste stream.
- "Meet the Freegans," a film by Travis Shields that follows the story of Steve, a well-educated, professional, home-owning Portland man who sees value in eating food from dumpsters.
- "Rubbish Removal," a film by Marissa J. Thompson that tells the story of a man who has no idea of the mess he’s leaving behind.
- "Talking Trash," a film by Levi Anderson describing where the Metro region’s trash ends up and its effects on rural Oregon communities.
- "There is No Away," by Suzan Beraza that follows someone who tries to unravel the complexities of where trash goes and whether or not recycling is all that it’s cracked up to be.
The winning film in the contest was chosen by the more than 200 people who attended the gala. “There is No Away” was the winning film, earning $500 for its filmmaker, Suzan Beraza.
These films are among many tools to help inform and engage the public in discussions about what happens to garbage once it leaves the curb. Let’s Talk Trash aims to raise awareness of our trash habits, raise issues and ideas around the concept for garbage as a resource, and engage the public in a discussion about what we should do with garbage in the future.